Lutz nailed a 52-yard field goal with 11 seconds remaining Sunday to beat the Carolina Panthers 41-38. Then he was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week on Wednesday.
According to the NFL, Lutz is the first Saints rookie kicker to win the honor.
Perhaps the bigger surprise, though, was that Saints quarterback Drew Brees didn’t win the NFC Offensive Player of the Week honor after throwing for 465 yards and four touchdowns. He got beat out by New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Maybe Brees has reached his max after winning the award 20 times since joining the Saints in 2006.
Lutz was a surprise addition to the Saints’ roster in Week 1 after he was released by the Baltimore Ravens, then had what coach Sean Payton called “probably the best kicking workout I’ve ever seen.” But he is still working out the kinks. Lutz has made 7-of-11 field-goal attempts this year, including a 53-yard miss earlier in the Panthers game.
“I pride myself in my short memory. It’s big for me. I just kind of forget about it, go with the ups and downs of the game and move on,” Lutz said after the game, adding that the opportunity to kick the game-winner is what kickers “live for.”
Lutz’s award is the second notice he has received from the NFL this week. He also joked on Twitter on Monday about receiving a suspiciously random drug test.
Although Lutz was honored by the league, he wasn’t even honored as the Saints’ best special teams player in Sunday’s game. Lutz received an “attaboy” recognition. But Payton said the special teams game ball went to another undrafted rookie – receiver Jake Lampman, who made three tackles in kick coverage and helped force another.
“When you go back and look at the film, it was outstanding. His first game up, he was fantastic, kick coverage, punt coverage, disruptive,” Payton said of Lampman, who joined the Saints after a three-day tryout in May after going undrafted out of Ferris State.
Lampman was promoted from the Saints’ practice squad to the active roster on Saturday.