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Wil Lutz experienced highs, lows as NFL kicker within minutes against Minnesota on Sunday 

'I thought they were both in. I hit them both on the screws. The second one just moved a little more left'

Wil Lutz hit both kicks flush, he said.

Hit 'em both on the screws, and probably wouldn't have changed a thing about the snap-hold-kick operation.

But on Sunday, against the Minnesota Vikings at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, hitting both field goal attempts perfectly didn't yield the perfect result for the New Orleans Saints kicker in a 28-25 loss to the Vikings.

The first, a 60-yard attempt with 1:51 left in the fourth quarter, sailed through the uprights with room to spare, evened the score at 25-25 and gave Lutz the second-longest field goal in franchise history, topped only by Tom Dempsey's then-NFL record 63-yarder in 1970.

The second, a 61-yard attempt with two seconds remaining in regulation, looked good until it didn't – it struck the left upright, caromed down onto the crossbar and ricocheted back into the end zone to preserve Minnesota's three-point gap and victory.

"Honestly, they were the same two kicks," Lutz said. "Unfortunately, the second one had one more yard to move than the first one. I thought they were both in. I hit them both on the screws, played them right-third, knowing the ball was going to move a little left. The second one just moved a little more left. Kind of shocked it didn't bounce in. It's frustrating."

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Lutz said the weather conditions were perfect for the attempts, and that if there was any wind, it likely was a favorable one.

"I hit that kick in warmup, both ways," he said. "I hit them both as flush as I could. Just, honestly, kind of still in shock that the second one didn't go in.

"I heard it hit the first doink, saw the second one and then I saw them celebrate, so I figured it didn't go in."

Lutz made a 59-yard field goal attempt in preseason, and said he routinely practices kicks of similar length during the week because those kicks could be presented as options during a game. After booming the 60-yarder moments before, there was little surprise that Coach Dennis Allen and special team coordinator Darren Rizzi had confidence that Lutz would be successful again.

"From where I was standing, I thought it was going to be good," Allen said.

"In that situation, we were in the position where we felt like we could make it. I think the field goal before (the 60-yarder) was probably a little bit more discussion. I give credit to Rizz, he felt really good about Wil knocking that thing through. And so we kicked the field goal and Wil hit a beauty and knocked it through."

The second attempt was confidence in Lutz as much as a must-kick scenario.

"In that situation, there is no range," Lutz said. "It's, 'We've got to kick it,' there is no option. And when my number is called I've got to give it a chance. Obviously, I gave it a chance but I didn't get the right bounce. It's frustrating."

Lutz now is 4-for-8 on field goal attempts this season, after missing last year due to a core muscle injury and surgery. But he continues to relish the opportunity for similar opportunities.

"That's what you sign up for as a kicker," he said. "Not every game is going to go your way, obviously it's not the start of the season that I've wanted it to be.

"(But) I thought I hit the ball well today. I wanted to hit that kick for the team, we needed a win today and it's pretty frustrating."

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