Luke Kuechly named NFC defensive player of the week

AP

You could have made a case for three Panthers winning NFC defensive player of the week honors.

But Luke Kuechly stood out even in that crowd.

The Panthers middle linebacker had roughly 1,647,892 tackles in their 17-13 win over the Saints.

The game-day count was 24, and the Panthers coaches went back and called it 26. Either way, it was a lot, along with an interception in the playoff-clinching win.

Since the league started tracking the hard-to-track stat in 1994, Kuechly and Derrick Brooks are the only players with at least 20 and an interception in the same game.

You could have made a strong case this week for Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis (14 tackles and an interception) or defensive end Greg Hardy (three sacks), but Kuechly’s performance was the best of an outstanding group.