5 big winners from the Carolina Panthers win vs. Falcons in Week 15

It was a hard-fought victory for the Carolina Panthers...

Brian Burns
Brian Burns / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Derrick Brown - Carolina Panthers DL

One could make a strong case for Derrick Brown being the best player on the Carolina Panthers these days. The formidable defensive lineman has enjoyed a phenomenal fourth season in a professional environment. Something that showed no signs of slowing down in Week 15 versus the Atlanta Falcons.

Brown was able to make a substantial difference despite being double-teamed on almost every down. His athleticism is extraordinary for a man his size. The closing speed demonstrated by the former first-round pick is out of this world. The player just seems to make things happen no matter how many bodies he has to dispose of to reach the point of attack.

If the Panthers had a respectable record, Brown would be an absolute lock to make the Pro Bowl. There aren't many defensive linemen around the league doing the things he is. But it is a popularity contest and the Auburn product goes under the radar compared to others in bigger markets.

Whether Brown gets some deserved individual accolades at the end of the season or not is moot. Carolina must extend the player as a matter of urgency heading into the final year of his deal. Anything else would be front office malpractice of the highest order.