Throughout the Denver Broncos’ recent four-game winning streak, kicker Wil Lutz has emerged as the team’s leading scorer with 47 of their 88 points. In three out of those four victories, the final outcome was decided by a margin of fewer than three points, displaying just how important Lutz’s accuracy has been to the team’s success. As Denver braces to play one of the league’s toughest defenses, Lutz’s performance is once again poised to be a determining factor in their pursuit of another win.

A Versatile Athlete

Lutz grew up in Newnan, GA, and attended Northgate High School. There, he competed in various sports, including football, soccer, and cross-country running. Lutz was a four-year letter on the football team as a placekicker and punter. In his senior year, the Northgate Vikings finished 11-1 and won a regional title. He then enrolled at Georgia State University.

Initially walking onto the football team in 2012, he quickly proved his worth, earning a scholarship the following year.

As a freshman, Lutz started as the kickoff specialist, but became the placekicker for Georgia State after four games. On the 2012 season, Lutz made 4-of-7 (57%) field goals and was a perfect 18-for-18 on extra points.

Lutz continued to excel the following year, notching eight successful field goals and 25 out of 26 PATs. He set a school-record by kicking a 53-yard field goal against Alabama.

Midway through the 2014 season, Lutz’s duties expanded to include punting. He boasted an 88% field goal success rate, perfect extra point conversions, and averaged 39.0 yards on 16 punts.

In his final season, he averaged 44.3 yards on 65 punts, the second-best season average in school history. Lutz scored a career-high 11 points with two field goals and five extra points against Texas State. He finished kicking 12-for-19 (63%) on field goals and 42–43 (98%) on extra points for 78 total points.

During his collegiate career, Lutz became Georgia State’s career leader in field goals (31), PATs (120), and total points (213). He also achieved the top career punting average in school history at 42.84 yards on 92 punts.

After graduating with a degree in criminal justice in 2016, Lutz set his sights on the NFL.

Finding Success in the NFL

After going undrafted in the 2016 NFL Draft, Lutz quickly found a home with the Baltimore Ravens. However, it was a short-lived tenure as he was waived by the team on August 29. Days later, Lutz found a new opportunity, signing with the New Orleans Saints.

Lutz’s rookie year set records, nailing 28 successful field goals, a franchise best. His performance earned him NFC Special Teams Player of the Week twice and a spot on the Pro-Football Writers Association All-Rookie Team for 2016.

Over the first three years of his NFL career, Lutz amassed an impressive record. He made 87 of 100 field goal attempts and 148 of 153 extra point attempts, totaling 409 points.

Before the 2019 season, New Orleans extended Lutz’s contract for five years. He followed it up by achieving a career-high 32 field goals and earning his first Pro Bowl selection. In 2020, Lutz continued strongly, hitting 57 of 58 extra points, a personal best.

Unfortunately, Lutz was placed on injured reserve on September 6, 2021, sidelining him for the entire season.

On August 29, 2023, the Saints traded him to the Broncos for a 2024 seventh-round pick, reuniting him with Sean Payton. In his seven-year stint with the Saints, Lutz kicked 165 field goals and 268 extra points, landing him second on the franchise’s all-time scoring list.

His debut with the Broncos started on a challenging note with a missed extra point and field goal. However, Lutz swiftly regained form from Week 2 onwards, boasting an impressive 21 of 22 field goal attempts and 14 of 15 PATs. He kicked the game-winning field goal that secured Denver’s win over the Buffalo Bills in Week 10. Lutz followed it up with a flawless five-field-goal performance that helped clinch a one-point win against the Minnesota Vikings last week.

Their next match is up against a Cleveland Browns who’s defense has only allowed an average of 243.3 yards per game. In what’s anticipated to be a low-scoring showdown, Lutz’s kicking will be crucial in determining if the Broncos can win their fifth straight.