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Kuechly’s player of week might be first of several honors

Luke Kuechly, Jacquizz Rodgers AP

Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly has been named the NFC’s defensive player of the week, and it might not be the last honor coming his way.

Kuechly had a career-high 16 tackles in the Panthers’ 30-20 win over the Falcons, and leads the league with 130 tackles on the season.

This is where I generally point out that gross tackles are a horribly misleading stat, tabulated on the spot by game-day statisticians who don’t always have a clear idea what a tackle is or who made it. It can also skew heavily toward bad defenses, whose inability to get off the field creates more opportunities to tackle someone.

All that said (and believed), Kuechly has been a bright spot for the Panthers, who  fell apart last year when they lost middle linebacker Jon Beason, and might have again this year without Kuechly. He seemed like a luxury pick in April when they chose him ninth overall, but he looks like a necessity now.

His performance also makes him a strong contender for defensive rookie of the year honors, and sets the stage for him to become the kind of leader the Panthers have been looking for on that side of the ball.

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19 Responses to “Kuechly’s player of week might be first of several honors”
  1. oklahomaseahawk says: Dec 12, 2012 11:56 AM

    What about Bobby Wagner… Hawks get no media love…

  2. elmustardo says: Dec 12, 2012 12:10 PM

    He isn’t even the best rookie linebacker in the division. That honor goes to Lavonte David

  3. chalkruz1989 says: Dec 12, 2012 12:16 PM

    I’ve watched the Carolina Panthers play about five, maybe six times this season and it was nearly impossible for me to find a running play when Luke Kuechly wasn’t at the bottom of the pile.

    He has a tremendous motor and you can tell he is passionate about the game. I don’t want to point to tackles and say he’s a great player because as Darinn Grant pointed out in his story, that is a misleading stat. But, he’s a game-changer and without him, who knows what the Panthers defense would do.

  4. eagles92 says: Dec 12, 2012 12:18 PM

    Oklahomaseahawk,

    How about this guy is a rookie leading the league in tackles and didn’t start middle line backer till game 5.

  5. seahawks4alltime says: Dec 12, 2012 12:20 PM

    Bobby Wagner is in the conversation for DROY. Don’t worry about it being in the media. “Media Love” is not what matters to the Seahawks. And if Bobby Wagner deserves the award then he’ll show it on the field. (more than he already has)

  6. stumpy456 says: Dec 12, 2012 12:25 PM

    If he keeps this up I think he’s probably defensive rookie of the year. He’s playing a lot like how Patrick Willis & Demeco Ryans did in their rookie year and they both won it

  7. xplicitpits says: Dec 12, 2012 12:26 PM

    BOBBY WAGNER DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR!

  8. trollhammer20 says: Dec 12, 2012 12:31 PM

    Word is the ‘Hawks would have taken Kuechly if he had fallen to them in the first round. They needed a MLB to replace David Hawthorne, and Kuechly was the best available. Wound up getting Wagner in the second and have not been disappointed.

    Both players definitely belong in the debate for DROY. It’s really up to the media guys who vote on this to take a good, objective look at the players, their contributions to their teams, the types of plays they make, and vote accordingly. More casual fans can be lazy and pick a favorite based on numbers or being a homer, but the journalists who actually get to vote really need to do their homework and give it to the player they feel is the most deserving, not whoever has the “buzz” at the time.

    If you think Wagner doesn’t belong in the conversation based on his second-round draft status, or the fact you never heard of the kid from Utah State as opposed to the guy from Boston College with top-ten-pick pedigree, you’re delusional. That said, as a ‘Hawk homer, if Kuechly winds up winning it, I’m not going to get angry, like some Niner fans did when Von Miller got it over Aldon Smith last year. These are two outstanding young defensive players who should serve their teams well over the long term, and heck, there are a few young CBs out there who deserve strong consideration for the award as well.

  9. rufusporter says: Dec 12, 2012 12:42 PM

    Kuechly, Wagner, and Lavonte David in a tight race right now. Can’t go wrong with any of these guys.

  10. didact12 says: Dec 12, 2012 12:59 PM

    Lavonte David? Ha!

    I’m sorry, but he’s not on Kuechly’s level. There’s a reason why Luke was touted as one of best LB prospects in years, and it was on display against The Falcons on Sunday. Not only did he make 16 tackles, but he countered Matt Ryan’s audibles and made pre-snap adjustments on the defense like a commander.

    David’s pass coverage skills are also not on par with Kuechly’s.

  11. ggreen7 says: Dec 12, 2012 1:08 PM

    Strong contender for defensive rookie of the year? He leads the NFL in tackles for crissakes. How could he not be defensive rookie of the year?

  12. trollhammer20 says: Dec 12, 2012 1:45 PM

    ggreen: What if he played fifteen percent more snaps than another contender because the offense couldn’t stay on the field, and a stat analysis found that half his tackles were 10 or more yards downfield?

    Not saying that’s the case, I made those numbers up off the top of my head, but to look at just one number and declare it over isn’t fair to other contenders.

  13. acromartieismydad says: Dec 12, 2012 1:47 PM

    16 tackles is awesome. However how does Richard Shermans 2 picks, 1 td, Fumble recovery, 3 passs defensed, holding Larry Fitzgerald to 1 catch for 2 yards in a shutout not warrant player of the week?

  14. bucrightoff says: Dec 12, 2012 1:53 PM

    Because Lavonte David is better. More solo tackles (the most important stat), more tackles for loss, much bigger overall impact. Kuechly’s good, he’s just not as good as David. Go ahead and thumbs down the truth Panther fans.

  15. whenimrightimright says: Dec 12, 2012 1:59 PM

    ” It can also skew heavily toward bad defenses, whose inability to get off the field creates more opportunities to tackle someone.”

    I can see your point with this for previous games. However,

    The 16 tackles were against and 11-1 Falcons, and the Panthers had the ball 11 minutes longer.

    Just saying

    Bobby’s a beast too.

  16. giantssb42champs says: Dec 12, 2012 2:05 PM

    I’ve seen the panthers on TV maybe four times this year. From what I’ve seen, Kuechly should be DROY. He is mighty impressive.

  17. techstar25 says: Dec 12, 2012 2:06 PM

    In 2011 the Buccaneers finished the season DEAD LAST in rush defense. This year they are on track to finish first in the NFL in rush defense and nobody else is even close. Why the huge turnaround? It’s defensive signal caller, rookie MLB Lavonte David. He’s better and he has made everybody around him better.

  18. bucrightoff says: Dec 12, 2012 2:16 PM

    You Panther fans are sad. Cam won because of stats, which you all promoted, and yet here is David with better across the board stats and Kuechly is better. Oooookkk…wanna know who David trails in TFL? JJ Watt, Aldon Smith and Von Miller. David is better than Kuechly, Freeman better than Cam and Schiano way better than Rivera. Enjoy loserville losers.

  19. hoops737 says: Dec 12, 2012 3:26 PM

    “Kuechly has been a bright spot for the Panthers, who fell apart last year when they lost middle linebacker Jon Beason, and might have again this year without Kuechly”

    —-

    Wait so they didn’t fall apart down the stretch?

    What football are you watching?

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