It was one of the more dominating defensive performances in Panthers history so to the victor goes the spoils. Greg Hardy was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week today after he led a Carolina charge into the New York Giants backfield last Sunday recording three of the team’s franchise-tying seven sacks of Giants quarterback Eli Manning while adding five tackles.
The 25 year old Mississippi alum had a breakout season in 2012 recording 11 sacks, which was second on the team, and after his performance last weekend he now has 21 in his career. In addition, Hardy has dropped the quarterback 14 times in his last 15 games.
Hardy and left defensive end Charles Johnson are a formidable duo and have combined for five sacks this year.
Originally selected by the Panthers in the sixth round (175th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft, Hardy has missed just two games in his four year career.
Hardy is the first Panthers defensive end, and third overall, to win the award since Julius Peppers took home the honor for Week 8 of the 2008 season when he returned interception 13 yards for touchdown and posted four tackles, one sack, four quarterback hurries and one forced fumble in Panthers' 34-21 win in Arizona. In all, Peppers took home the award three times while Mike Rucker did it twice.
The last Carolina player to win the NFC weekly award on defense was Luke Kuechly after a 16 tackle performance against the Falcons in Week 14 last season.