The Newnan Times-Herald

Sports

Two local players help NFL teams make playoffs


  • By Doug Gorman
  • |
  • Jan. 05, 2018 - 5:45 AM

When the NFL playoffs start this weekend, Coweta County will be represented by two players who hope to help lead their teams to the Super Bowl.

Former Newnan and University of Georgia standout Alec Ogletree will be one of the Los Angeles Rams’ starting linebackers Saturday night when his team hosts the Atlanta Falcons.

On Sunday, former Northgate and Georgia State kicker Will Lutz will handle the place-kicking duties for the New Orleans Saints when they take on the Carolina Panthers at home.

Ogletree was a first-round draft pick of the Rams in 2013 when the team still played in St. Louis.

The  Newnan High School graduate was named to the All-Rookie team in 2013 and was named to the Second-Team All-Pro squad in 2016.

This season, Ogletree helped lead the Rams to an 11-5 record and first place in the NFC West Standings.

He finished the regular season as the Rams’ leading tackler with 95, including 63 solo tackles. Ogletree also had two sacks during the regular season.

The Rams face a Falcons team that is hoping to get to the Super Bowl for the second year in a row.

Atlanta heads to the west coast after earning one of the NFC wild cards with a 10-6 record. Game time for Saturday’s game is set for 8:15 p.m. on  NBC.

Lutz is proving he belongs in the NFL.

After getting signed as a free agent out of Georgia State last year, Lutz was cut after training camp by the Baltimore Ravens.

He wasn’t unemployed very long.

The Saints signed him before the start of the regular season last year, and he has done nothing but split the uprights for New Orleans during his first two years as a pro.

During the regular season, Lutz was 31 of 36 on field goals, including 4 of 5 beyond 50 yards.

He was also 47 of 50 on extra points.

This will be the third meeting between the Saints and Panthers this year with the Saints winning both games during the regular season.

In the second game between the two teams, Lutz’s 31-yard kick pushed him to fifth all time in Saints’ franchise history.

He now has kicked more than 50 field goals for the Saints in just two years.

"If you had told me two years ago that I'd even be playing, I'd laugh at you," Lutz said. "To hear that kind of stuff is cool, but I kind of take it for what it's worth. I'd much rather be the first than the fifth, so I just have to keep working and moving up."

Lutz and the Saints will face Carolina Sunday at 4:15 p.m. on the Fox television network.