Saints kicker mistaken for fan after hitting game winner

Gerald Herbert/AP Photo

NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans Saints rookie kicker Blake Grupe had the best professional moment of his short career against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday afternoon.

Then he quickly came back down to Earth.

The 24-year-old undrafted rookie showed his coolness under pressure at the end of Sunday's game by kicking a 31-yard game-winning field goal as time expired to help the Saints get the 26-24 win.

The euphoria of Grupe's first professional field goal probably lasted about an hour, until he was mistaken for a fan by security as he tried to leave the Superdome via the player's exit.

He recounted the experience on his social media account after the game, noting that it was the second time in the same day that someone did not think the 5-foot-7, 156-pound specialist was a football player. Grupe had already been questioned by stadium security prior to the game when they asked why he didn't have a credential to be on the sidelines.

Grupe, who has been battling Wil Lutz for the starting kicker spot all summer, might not be a recognizable face yet, but his poise under pressure impressed Saints coach Dennis Allen.

"Glad we got the win, because this league is all about winning and winning in the preseason is important," Allen said. "I was glad that our guys were able to do that. I was glad to see Grupe get a chance to get to kick in that situation and be able to knock it through."