BRONCOS

A relieved Wil Lutz explains why he missed the first game-winning chance

Nov 14, 2023, 11:51 AM

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The call came in — “Hurricane! Hurricane!” — and it seemed on the surface that Broncos kicker Wil Lutz was ready for the opportunity to attempt a kick as a running clock drained to triple zeroes late Monday night.

After all, he had succeeded in the same spot in the first half, adding three points to the Broncos’ halftime lead as the second quarter expired. There’s a little more noise and a lot more pressure, but it’s all just about following a routine, right?

Well …

“I’ve gotta handle that situation a little better,” Wil Lutz acknowledged after the Broncos escaped with a 24-22 win after Lutz’s missed 41-yard attempt was nullified on account of the Buffalo Bills having too many players on the field.

“We had plenty of time there for me to take my steps and everything, and I didn’t. So, I’m kind of mad of myself the way I handled that kick, but saved by the grace of God.”

And with a second chance, he nailed it.

“It’s like a great golfer. You give him two swings at it, he’s going to hit the ball straight eventually,” right Mike McGlinchey said.

The preparation for the entire unit did help. Denver’s field-goal unit found its positions and got set without a hitch. The only thing that went askew was Lutz’s attempt.

“It’s just kind of going through those situations throughout the week,” Lutz said. “You know, very good situational football. And look, that was my first-ever — we call it ‘Hurricane’ here — that was my first-ever ‘Hurricane’ kick and we had two of them. Those are situations — this is my eighth year, and I’ve never gone through it, so we have to work through it every week in case it comes up, and we do, so, hats off to the coaching there.

“Still a lot to process right now, but this is a really, really cool win for this team.

Despite the nullified miss and a first-half extra point that smashed into the left upright, Lutz still has the confidence of his teammates.

“Wil put it through and clinched the game for us — just like he always will,” McGlinchey said.

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