It was far from a given that New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz would make the 52-yard field goal that decided the Saints’ 41-38 victory over the Carolina Panthers.
Lutz is a rookie from Georgia State who had an uneven start in his first four NFL games. Sunday, he badly missed a previous field goal attempt from 53 yards.
But the kick glided through the uprights, bringing most of this Superdome crowd to its feet with 11 seconds remaining.
“I wasn’t sure what would happen with 13 seconds left: Whether we’d run another play (before the field-goal attempt). My job is to put it through the uprights no matter where it’s at,” said Lutz.
So was this easy or hard?
“There are no chip shots from 50-some yards away,” said Lutz. “But it did feel smooth and go straight.
“Obviously I’m not happy at all about the 53-yarder. But I bounced back and we won it.”
Saints quarterback Drew Brees said he never had a doubt.
“He’s got a big leg,” Brees said. “He strokes it from 50 just like he strokes it from 30.”