CHARLOTTE – Running back Jonathan Stewart has been named NFC Offensive Player of the Week after recording three rushing touchdowns in a game for the first time in his career to help Carolina secure a critical 31-24 victory over the Vikings.
"We believe in who he is for us and he has been solid," head coach Ron Rivera said after the game. "He has worked hard. He had gotten better and better. He is getting stronger."
Stewart's first touchdown was his longest rush of the season – a 60-yarder on third-and-1 to give the Panthers the early lead.
He reached the end zone again with a powerful 1-yard rush in the second quarter, and he produced the game-winner late in the fourth quarter. Stewart broke the 24-24 tie by leaping over the pile for another 1-yard touchdown on third-and-goal.
Stewart, who entered the game with three rushing touchdowns on the year, finished with 16 carries for 103 yards to notch his second 100-yard game of the season.
This is the second career Player of the Week honor for Stewart, who won the award after recording 109 rushing yards and two touchdowns (one rushing and one receiving) in a victory over Minnesota in 2009.