Greg Hardy has been named NFC Defensive Player of The Week after a dominant performance in the Carolina Panthers 21-20 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. The fourth-year player recorded four of the team’s nine sacks as the Panthers clinched the NFC South championship.
"He's just relentless, and the whole group was really tenacious with the rush," Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said. "They really kept it going, and the coverage was exceptional on some plays, too. That helped. The effort up front was phenomenal."
This is Hardy’s second Player of The Week honor. He first won the award after a three-sack performance against the New York Giants in Week Three. He’s also the second Panther to win the award in as many weeks, as linebacker Luke Kuechly won it Week Sixteen.
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera spoke glowingly of his rising star, who was named to his first Pro Bowl on Friday.
"He's also a very smart football player,” Rivera said. “I don't think people really give him credit for that because he's such a big, physical player out there. He understands what we do and how he fits into the scheme."