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Saints 2018 Year in Review: Wil Lutz

Saints fans can finally feel confident in their kicker again.

NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve already gone over one New Orleans Saints Pro Bowl snub on special teams in Thomas Morstead, now let’s go over another in Wil Lutz.

Maybe not since the days of John Carney’s first stint with the Saints have New Orleans fans been able to feel as confident in the quality of their place kicker as they do with Wil Lutz. By all accounts, Lutz had the best year of his three-year career, setting career highs in field goal percentage, extra points, and extra point percentage. In a year with turmoil surrounding the position around the NFL, Lutz was more than reliable. He missed only one extra point on the season, drilled 11 of 12 field goals from between 40-49 yards and two of three from more than 50.

Wil Lutz - At a Glance

  • Approximate Value: 5 (career high)
NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

While Lutz had a great season with relative hiccups, he did have what ended up being a costly missed field goal in the post season against the Los Angeles Rams. It ultimately was not what determined the game, but it was still a shock to see Lutz miss the kick, and ultimately leave the points on the board.

As you might know by now, I try to include at least one highlight of two of the player I’m reviewing at this stage in the article. With all of Lutz’s game-sealing or game-winning kicks, I’m instead choosing to focus on this moment from Lutz’s 2018 season:

With Cleveland Browns (former) kicker Zane Gonzalez missing multiple game-sealing kicks for the Browns, Lutz made it a point to go console his opponent after the game. Gonzalez was released immediately following the game, and both he and Lutz likely knew it was coming. Considering that, it was a really classy gesture on behalf of Lutz.

Here’s to 2019.