New Orleans Saints kicker Blake Grupe was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against the New England Patriots in Week 5.
Grupe put 10 of New Orleans points on the board in the 34-0 victory hitting both of his field goal attempts, the first from a career-long 54 yards and the second from 53 yards out, as well as making all four of his extra-point attempts. The 10 points matched his career high in a game set in the Sept. 10 16-15 win against the Tennessee Titans.
Saints Coach Dennis Allen said following the Pats game that his confidence is "extremely high" in the rookie kicker.
"I I think he's kicked the ball exceptionally well for us," Allen said. "I've had zero reservations about having him attempt a long field goal. It was great to see him do that."
Grupe was the first Saint to boot two field goals of 50 yards or more in a contest since John Carney (at St. Louis, 9/26/04), only the fifth Saint do so and the sixth such occurrence in team history.
Grupe also kicked seven kickoffs resulting in five touchbacks with the two returned kickoffs only advancing to the Patriots' 21- and 17-yard lines.
The Saints showed great trust in the kicker when they handed the job over to the 5-foot-7, 156-pound 24-year-old from Notre Dame, choosing to trade Wil Lutz, the second leading scorer in franchise history and a former Pro Bowler. Through five games, Grupe has repaid that trust, making 11 of his 12 field goal attempts (91.7%) and all nine of his extra point attempts, giving him 42 points. Grupe has also kicked the ball off 25 times with 22 of those resulting in touchbacks (88%).