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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
NOR 3
DUR 5
 
Final
PIT 0
CAR 10
 
Final
CIN 7
CHC 2
Final
DET 3
NYY 2
Final
SFG 4
COL 1
Final
BAL 5
TAM 4
Final
NYM 1
ATL 6
Final
CWS 2
CLE 3
 
10th
KAN 5
MIN 5
 
Final
HOU 4
TEX 2
 
5th
ANA 3
OAK 0
 
Final
SCAR 28
TEXAM 52
Final
LAMON 17
WAKE 10
 
Final
MISS 35
BSU 13
 
4th
TULSA 28
TULA 28
 
2nd
WASU 17
RUTG 21
 
2nd
ARST 17
WEBER 0
 
2nd
VANDY 0
TEMPL 7
 
Final
JAC 14
ATL 24
 
Final
BUF 0
DET 23
 
Final
CIN 35
IND 7
 
Final
GBP 34
KAN 14
 
Final
PHI 37
NYJ 7
 
Final
MIA 14
STL 13
 
Final
PIT 0
CAR 10
 
Final
NYG 16
NEP 13
 
Final
TAM 10
WAS 24
 
Final
NOS 13
BAL 22
 
Final
CLE 33
CHI 13
 
Final
DAL 3
DEN 27
 
Final
TEN 3
MIN 19
 
Final
HOU 13
SFX 40
 
Half
SDC 9
ARI 6
 
2nd
OAK 28
SEA 14
 
Final
NOR 3
DUR 5