CHARLOTTE -- Panthers rookie linebacker Luke Kuechly has been named NFC Defensive Player of the Week after collecting a career-high 16 tackles in Carolina's 30-20 win over the Atlanta Falcons.
"It's cool," Kuechly said of the honor. "It's one of those things where it's a team game. You get noticed because of the guys on your team. The guys on the defensive line did a great job of eating up guys up front and letting the linebackers run. It's cool, but we got the win and that's ultimately what matters."
Kuechly led a defensive effort that limited the NFC South champion Falcons to their second lowest point-total of the season and 35 yards in the first half.
Kuechly – who leads the NFL with 130 tackles – is the second defensive rookie to receive the NFL's weekly honor. He's the first defensive Panther to win the award since linebacker Jon Beason in Week 16 of 2009.