Another Defensive POW for Hardy resume

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Greg Hardy is putting together quite an impressive resume for free agency.

The Carolina Panthers' defensive end was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week on Tuesday for his four-sack performance in Sunday's 21-20 victory at Atlanta.

It was the second time this season that the fourth-year player out of Ole Miss has won the award, and the fifth time for a Carolina player. Hardy also won it in Week 3 for his three-sack performance against the New York Giants.

Over the past two games, Hardy has seven sacks to raise his season total to a career-best 15 that tied the team record set by linebacker Kevin Greene in 1998.

In between, he was selected to his first Pro Bowl.

It comes at a good time for a player who will become a free agent after the season.

"He's been practicing that way the last few weeks," coach Ron Rivera said Monday of Hardy's recent hot streak. "You ask his teammates how well he's been practicing. It's almost scary because he's flying around like that on Fridays as well.

"So there's something that's kind of clicked in him right now, and he's done a heck of a job."

Hardy's award came a week after middle linebacker Luke Kuechly won it for the second time this season for collecting 24 tackles against New Orleans.

Outside linebacker Thomas Davis won it for his 10-tackle, two-sack game against Minnesota.