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Carolina LB Kuechly honored as top defensive player

New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year Saturday, as voted by the Associated Press.

The 22-year-old Kuechly, the ninth overall draft pick in 2012 out of Boston College, received 19 votes from a nationwide media panel to beat out Indianapolis linebacker Robert Mathis (11 1/2). Seattle safety Earl Thomas was third (7 1/2), followed by St. Louis defensive end Robert Quinn (6) and Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (4). Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, who was last year's winner, got two votes.

Kuechly compiled 96 tackles and had four interceptions this past season. He also had two sacks.

"I had no idea," Kuechly said when asked if he was surprised at winning the award. "If you look at the list of guys it's Robert Mathis, a sack master who forced a lot of fumbles, and obviously, everybody knows about Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas. It was a great group of guys, and really, anybody could have got it."

02/01 21:45:17 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 11
TOL 10
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
TOL
 
Final
NYY 4
TOR 5
Final
CIN 2
WAS 4
Final
PHI 4
ARI 2
Final
TAM 2
BOS 3
Final
MIN 4
CWS 3
Final
KAN 3
CLE 10
Final
HOU 2
MIA 4
Final
MIL 0
NYM 2
Final
CHC 0
STL 1
Final
ANA 2
DET 1
Final
SEA 2
BAL 3
Final
COL 5
PIT 7
Final
ATL 8
SDP 3
Final
TEX 3
OAK 9
Final
SFG 3
LOS 4
12:10pm Today
ATL
SDP
 
7:10pm Tonight
CIN
ARI
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
MIL
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
PHI
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
TOR
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
COL
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
NYY
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
OAK
 
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
PIT
 
Final
DUR 11
TOL 10
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
TOL