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Cat Crave's Week 7 NFC South awards: Panthers claim two of three spots

Week 7 of the NFL season saw three of the four NFC South teams coming away with wins. Atlanta defeated the Lions 23-16, the Panthers came away with a 33-20 victory over the Washington Redskins, and the New Orleans Saints wallopped the Peyton Manning-less Colts 62-7. Only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came away from Week 7 with a loss as they fell to the Chicago Bears 24-18 following a disastrous game from Josh Freeman. Two Carolina Panther players claimed two of the three awards this week. To see who we pegged as the top NFC South players of the week, continue to read.

NFC South Offensive Player of the Week: Drew Brees


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Drew Brees seems to win the NFC South Offensive Player of the Week nearly every week. The Saints’ signal caller has claimed the award four out of the seven weeks. Brees is well deserving of the award this week due to his outstanding performance against the Colts which is easily one of his top single-game performances of his career. Brees has an unbelieveable 89% completion rate as he successfully completed 31 of 35 pass attempts. Brees accumulated a total of 325 yards and 5 touchdowns against the Colts. He hit connected with Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston for two touchdowns apiece and threw an additional touchdown to Darren Sproles. Brees finished the game with an out-of-this-world quarterback rating of 127.5


NFC South Defensive Player of the Week: James Anderson


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James Anderson is continuing to show Panther Nation and the NFL fans that he is more than a one-year wonder. In fact, he is quickly becoming the team’s leader on defense. Anderson collected a total of 12 tackles (10 solo) against the Washington Redskins. The versatile linebacker also added a sack and two tackles for loss to his Week 7 performance and also accounted for a defended pass. If Jon Beason and Thomas Davis can rebound from injuries in 2012 and stay healthy throughout the season, the Panthers will have the top linebacking corps in the NFL.


NFC South Special Teams Player of the Week: Olindo Mare


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Panthers’ kicker Olindo Mare is continuing to impress the Carolina faithful with his 2011 performance. Mare was specifically targeted by the Carolina coaching staff and front office personnel this offseason. The NFL’s new kick-off rule makes Mare’s strong leg a valuable weapon in the special teams department and more often than not his kick-offs result in touchbacks. In Week 7, Mare accounted for 15 total points as he was a perfect four for four on field goal attempts (from 20, 45, 45, and 40 yards respectively) and three for three in extra point attempts. Though many Panther fans still adore former Carolina kicker, John Kasay, Mare is definitely showing that the Panthers’ kicking game has not regressed and has improved the overall performance of the special teams unit.

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