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Inside linebacker Luke Kuechly was not the only Carolina Panther to win a major NFL award for the 2013 season. He joined his head coach Ron Rivera on the trophy case by winning Defensive Player of the Year.
Kuechly won in the closest vote in all the major NFL awards with 13 votes. This beat out Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis, who received 11.5 votes. Other players also received multiple votes. Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas was not far behind with 7.5 votes, reports NFL.com.
Kuechly just completed his second season in the NFL, and he has made an impact since day one for the Panthers defense, winning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2012.
This season, Kuechly finished with 156 combined tackles, two sacks and four interceptions. He capped off his season in Week 16 against the New Orleans Saints when he registered a whopping 24 tackles, according to SB Nation.
This performance helped the Panthers win the NFC South as they finished a game over the Saints and had the second-best scoring defense in the league, allowing only 15.1 points per game.
The Panthers lost their playoff game in the NFC Divisional Round against the San Francisco 49ers, but Kuechly finished with seven tackles and a sack.
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