Luke Kuechly

Luke August Kuechly (/ˈkiːkli/; born April 20, 1991) is an American football linebacker for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Panthers ninth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. He played college football at Boston College where he was recognized twice as a consensus All-American. Kuechly had an immediate impact his rookie season, as he led the NFL in tackles[1] and won the Associated Press 2012 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award, becoming the third youngest recipient in its history.[2][3] In 2013, Kuechly became the youngest recipient of the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award in its history.

Luke Kuechly
refer to caption
Kuechly in 2015
No. 59 – Carolina Panthers
Position:Middle linebacker
Personal information
Born:April 20, 1991 (age 28)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:238 lb (108 kg)
Career information
High school:St. Xavier (Cincinnati, Ohio)
College:Boston College
NFL Draft:2012 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Total tackles:948
Sacks:12.5
Interceptions:16
Pass deflections:55
Forced fumbles:7
Fumble recoveries:9
Defensive touchdowns:2
Player stats at NFL.com

Early years

Kuechly was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and grew up in Evendale, Ohio. He attended St. Xavier High School in the Finneytown area of Cincinnati, where he played linebacker and safety for the football team. As a junior in 2007 he had 147 tackles, six sacks, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, two interceptions, and a touchdown as a linebacker. He helped his team go 15-0, winning the Division 1 Ohio state title, and finishing at the top of several national polls (Calpreps.com and Prepnation.com) as the best high school team in America. As a senior in 2008, he had 130 tackles, a sack, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception. Kuechly was a two-time All Greater Catholic League selection at St. Xavier, gaining first-team honors in 2008.[4]

Regarded as a three-star recruit, Kuechly was listed as the No. 44 outside linebacker prospect in the class of 2009, which was headed by Jelani Jenkins and Nico Johnson.[5] After official visits to Boston College, Virginia, Duke, and Stanford, Kuechly committed to the Eagles in January 2009.

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Luke Kuechly
OLB
Cincinnati, Ohio St. Xavier High School 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 220 lb (100 kg) 4.70 Jan 18, 2009 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:
3 stars
   Rivals:
3 stars
   247Sports:
3 stars
   ESPN grade: 79
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 23 (SLB)   Rivals: 44 (OLB), 37 (OH)
  • ‡ Refers to 40 yard dash
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height, weight and 40 time.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

  • "2009 Boston College Football Commitments". Rivals.com. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  • "2009 Boston College Football Recruiting Commits". Scout.com. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  • "Scout.com Team Recruiting Rankings". Scout.com. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  • "2009 Team Ranking". Rivals.com. Retrieved May 11, 2015.

College career

Kuechly attended Boston College, a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), where he played for the Boston College Eagles football team from 2009 to 2011. Boston College retired his jersey on October 22, 2016.[6]

2009 season

As a true freshman in 2009, Kuechly became the Eagles' starting outside linebacker after Mark Herzlich announced that he would miss the season after being diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of cancer.[7] He finished the season with 158 tackles (87 solo), which led the team and conference, as well as being second nationally (first among freshmen).[8] He was the first true freshman in team history to lead the team in tackles and almost broke the freshman tackle record set by Stephen Boyd in 1991.[7] He also had a sack and returned an interception for a touchdown.[9] For his play, he was named the 2009 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year and was on the 2009 CFN All-Freshman Defensive Team.[10][11] CFN named the true freshman Kuechly to its All-America team.[12]

2010 season

Kuechly moved to middle linebacker at the beginning of his sophomore season. He went on to lead the country with 183 tackles (110 solo) and had an ongoing streak of 21 straight games with at least 10 tackles at the end of the season.[13] Kuechly was named a finalist for the Butkus Award and the Nagurski Award. He broke the school single season record for tackles, topping the previous record of 165, held since 1991 by Tom McManus. After the season, Kuechly was named a unanimous first-team All-American.[14] He was the first consensus All-American for the Eagles since Jamie Silva in 2007.[15] Boston College played in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (the same bowl as the Emerald Bowl from the previous season with a change of corporate sponsorship) at the end of the season and Kuechly was named the defensive MVP for a second time.

2011 season

Kuechly led the nation with 191 tackles (102 solo) during the season, averaging nearly 16 tackles per game.[16] Kuechly compiled his stats in the 12-game regular season, as the team finished with a 4-8 record and was ineligible for post-season play. He still almost broke the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) single-season tackle record (193, set by Lawrence Flugence in a 14-game season) and did break the single season tackles-per-game record with 15.9 (previously held by Rick Sherrod with a 15.6 average over a 10-game season).[17] He broke his own team and conference single-season tackle records set just a year earlier.

In only three seasons of play, Kuechly set the Boston College and ACC career tackle records with 532 tackles, eclipsing the previous record of 524 held by Stephen Boyd and only 13 short of the NCAA FBS record held by Tim McGarigle.[17] On December 4, Dick Butkus personally presented the 2011 Butkus Award to Kuechly at the Boston College team banquet a week before the expected formal announcement of the recipient.[18] Kuechly went on to win the Lombardi Award, the Lott IMPACT Trophy, and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, and was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American for the second consecutive year.[14]

College statistics

Luke Kuechly Defense
Year Team GP Tackles For Loss Sacks Int FF
2009 Boston College 13 158 13.0 1.0 1 0
2010 Boston College 13 183 10.5 1.5 3 0
2011 Boston College 12 191 12.0 0.0 3 0
College Totals 38 532 35.5 2.5 7 0

College awards and honors

Professional career

On January 6, 2012, Kuechly announced his intention to forgo his final year of college eligibility and enter the 2012 NFL Draft. At the time of his announcement, he was rated the top linebacker available in this draft: Mel Kiper Jr. ranked him tenth on his "Big Board", while Todd McShay ranked him thirteenth in his "Top 32".[20] Kuechly squashed any lingering doubts about his athleticism with his performance at the combine and pro day workouts, demonstrating rare pass coverage abilities which would allow him to be a "three-down" inside linebacker (i.e. not subbed-out on obvious passing downs) which raised his draft stock even further.[21]

Kuechly was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the first round: the first linebacker selected and the ninth overall pick.[22] On May 10, 2012, Kuechly signed a 4-year, $12.58 million contract.[23]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 3 14 in
(1.91 m)
242 lb
(110 kg)
31 in
(0.79 m)
9 34 in
(0.25 m)
4.58 s 1.57 s 2.63 s 4.12 s 6.92 s 38 in
(0.97 m)
10 ft 3 in
(3.12 m)
27 reps 34
All values from NFL Combine[24]

2012: Rookie year

Kuechly began the season at outside linebacker instead of middle linebacker; After considering Kuechly as starting middle linebacker, head coach Ron Rivera decided to start veteran Jon Beason at middle linebacker due to his experience. When Beason was placed on injured reserve due to a torn Achilles tendon, Kuechly was moved to middle linebacker.[25] Due to his strong performance at middle linebacker, Rivera announced that Kuechly would be the team's long-term starter at that position even after Beason returned from his injury.[26] In a 30-20 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 14, Kuechly recorded a career-high 16 tackles and was honored as NFC Defensive Rookie of the Week; Kuechly received the NFC Defensive Rookie of the Month award in December, recording a league-high 59 tackles over the final five games of the season. He became the second Panther after Julius Peppers to receive the award. Kuechly led the league with 164 tackles during the regular season and recorded 8 pass deflections, 1 sack, 2 interceptions, and three fumble recoveries.[1] He was awarded the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year[2] and received the Defensive Rookie of the Year award from Pro Football Weekly.[27]

While not being an official stat kept by the NFL, after tape review, Panthers coaches credited Kuechly with a franchise record 205 tackles, surpassing James Anderson's 174 set in 2011, and became the first rookie to lead the NFL in that department since Patrick Willis in 2007.[28] Kuechly was rated as the 79th best player on the NFL Top 100 list.[29]

2013: Defensive Player of the Year

Luke Kuechly at training camp
Kuechly signing autographs at Panthers training camp.

Kuechly brought his play to a whole new level in his second season, becoming the leader of a stingy Panthers defense that finished the season as runner-up in points and yards allowed.[30] On Sunday, December 22, 2013, Kuechly recorded 24 tackles and one interception in a game against the New Orleans Saints, which the Carolina Panthers won and made the 2013-14 NFL playoffs. Kuechly's 24 tackles nearly tied the NFL record for most tackles in a game.[31] After film review, the number was increased to 26, which is six tackles more than the previous team record held by James Anderson, and a new NFL single game record.[32] Kuechly was also selected to the 2014 Pro Bowl where he had a team high 12 tackles for Team Sanders. Kuechly was named to the 2013 All-Pro Team and recognized as the NFL Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press, joining Lawrence Taylor as the only players in NFL history to win the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and NFL Defensive Player of the Year in successive years.[33] Further, Kuechly joined Taylor, Joe Greene, Jack Lambert, Dana Stubblefield, Charles Woodson, Brian Urlacher, and Terrell Suggs to win both awards.[34] Kuechly was rated as the 15th best player in the NFL Top 100 Players of 2014 list.[29]

2014 season

During the season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kuechly recorded nine tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and had a tipped pass that led to an interception.[35][36] In a Week 2 game against the Detroit Lions, Kuechly recorded 11 tackles and two pass deflections en route to a 24–7 victory.[37] During the Panthers Week 5 victory over the Chicago Bears, Kuechly was credited with 15 tackles without a missed tackle and allowed only 47 yards on nine receptions in coverage.[38] Through the first five games of the season, Pro Football Focus has rated Kuechly as the best inside linebacker in the NFL.[39] During Week 7 against the Green Bay Packers on October 19, 2014, Kuechly was ejected for making inadvertent contact with an official; while trying to break free of a pile, Kuechly was grabbed from behind by an official. Not knowing it was an official, Kuechly swung his arm, resulting in his ejection. The NFL later determined that Kuechly should not have been ejected.[40] Kuechly finished the regular season, leading the NFL in tackles with 153, along with three sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, and a career-high 12 pass deflections. He was voted to the Pro Bowl and was also selected to the NFL All-Pro First Team for the second consecutive season.[41][42] He also won the Butkus Award for the second time, joining Von Miller and Patrick Willis as the only players to win the award in both college and in the NFL.[43]

During the Panthers 27–16 Wild Card Round victory over the Arizona Cardinals, Kuechly made three defensive stops, 10 tackles, one interception, and two pass defenses, one of which he tipped directly to Tre Boston for another interception.[44][45] During the Panthers' Divisional Round loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Kuechly was credited with eight total tackles (two solo and six assisted).[46] For the season, Kuechly led the NFL with 81 defensive stops.[47]

2015: Super Bowl appearance

On September 10, 2015, Kuechly signed a five-year, $62 million extension with the Panthers, becoming the NFL's highest-paid middle linebacker by annual average salary.[48] During the season opener, Kuechly suffered a concussion during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and left the game.[49] He missed the first game of his NFL career in the following week when the Panthers defeated the Houston Texans.[50] Kuechly returned to the field during the Panthers Week 6 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. During the game, he recorded 14 tackles and eight defensive stops.[51][52] Kuechly continued to play in form during the Panthers victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, recording 11 defensive stops, one tackle-for-loss, one pass defensed, and one quarterback hit.[53] Despite missing three games through the first seven weeks, Kuechly graded as PFF's best linebacker in the NFL.[54][55]

Saints vs Panthers 12.6.15 051
Kuechly playing against the New Orleans Saints in 2015.

Kuechly tied a season high 14 tackles during a Monday Night Football victory over the Indianapolis Colts. He also had three passes defended and interception in overtime to set up a Graham Gano game-winning field goal. Kuechly followed up his impressive performance the following week during the Panthers 37-29 victory over the Green Bay Packers, where he recorded a team-high nine tackles and four stops to go along with his fifth pass defensed of the season.[56] The following week, Kuechly forced a fumble for just the second time in his career during the Panthers 27-10 victory over the Tennessee Titans.[57] The next week, during the Panthers 44-16 victory over the Washington Redskins to move them to 10-0, Kuechly recorded 4 tackles, 1 forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.[58] The next week, Kuechly recorded 7 tackles, 2 passes defenses, and 2 interceptions for 49 yards and a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys in a 33-14 win, which helped Carolina reach 11-0.[59] During the game, Kuechly became the first player with picks on back-to-back plays from scrimmage since 1997 and upped his career total to 10, most among all linebackers since 2012. Additionally, his pick 6 was the first of his NFL career and the first one since his junior season at Boston College.[60] He was awarded the All-Iron Award and NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance during the game; it was his fourth such honor in his career, setting a new Panthers' franchise record.[61]

According to PFF through the first 12 weeks of the season, Kuechly's 17.6 run-stop percentage ranked first for any defensive player regardless of position with at least 100 snaps against the run. Further, Kuechly was one of seven linebackers with 30 or more tackles in the run game, and just one missed tackle. In coverage, Kuechly had three interceptions and four passes defended with no touchdowns allowed. He also allowed the second-lowest passer rating among all linebackers when targeted in coverage at 47.4 and is the one of just three linebacker with more than 25 tackles in coverage, and only one missed tackle.[62] During the Panthers week 14 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, Kuechly recorded his fourth interception of this season against quarterback Matt Ryan. His 11 career interceptions are the most by any linebacker since he came into the league in 2012.[63] During the Panthers thrilling 38-35 victory over the New York Giants to move them to 14-0, Kuechly recorded 15 tackles, his highest total since 2014 Week 5.[64] Kuechly was the winner of PFF's inaugural Dick "Night Train" Lane Award, given to the defender who performed the best in pass-coverage over the course of the season. Kuechly led all linebackers in allowing a passer rating of just 48.7 into his coverage (playoffs included).[65]

In the Panthers' 31–24 win over the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Divisional Round, Kuechly intercepted Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson early in the first quarter and returned the pick 14 yards for a touchdown to give the Panthers a 14–0 lead.[66] He added another "pick six" late in the Panthers' 49–15 win over the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship.[67] On February 7, 2016, Kuechly was part of the Panthers team that played in Super Bowl 50. In the game, he recorded 10 tackles and a sack, but the Panthers fell to the Denver Broncos by a score of 24–10.[68][69] Ten days after, it was announced that Kuechly would undergo surgery to repair a torn labrum. Sources said that he had played through the injury throughout the postseason.[70]

Kuechly was named to his third straight Pro Bowl, third straight first-team All-Pro, and was ranked as the seventh best player by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.[71][72][73]

2016 season

In 2016, Kuechly started 10 games before suffering a concussion in Week 11, keeping him out the rest of the season.[74] Despite the concussion and missing six games, Kuechly still recorded over 100 tackles, two sacks, six passes defensed, and one interception. He made his fourth straight Pro Bowl and was named second-team All-Pro, and was ranked 20th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2017 as the highest ranked middle linebacker.[75]

2017 season

On September 10, 2017, in the season opening 23–3 victory over the San Francisco 49ers, Kuechly recorded an interception off of quarterback Brian Hoyer to go along with five solo tackles and two assisted tackles.[76] On October 12, 2017, Kuechly was placed into the concussion protocol after seemingly suffering his third concussion in as many seasons during a Thursday Night Football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, although this was just a precaution.[77][78][79][80] On October 27, 2017, it was announced that Kuechly had cleared the concussion protocol. He made his return against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 29, where he would record six solo tackles, two assisted tackles, and an interception off of a Jameis Winston pass.[81] In Week 12, Kuechly returned a strip-sacked fumble 34 yards for the touchdown in a 35-27 win over the New York Jets, earning him NFC Defensive Player of the Week.[82] On December 19, 2017, Kuechly was named to his fifth straight Pro Bowl.[83] He earned First Team All-Pro honors for the fourth time.[84] He was ranked 12th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2018.[85]

2018 season

Kuechly started off the 2018 season strong with 13 combined tackles in the 16–8 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1.[86] In Week 3, against the Cincinnati Bengals, he recorded his lone interception on the season.[87] On October 21, against the Philadelphia Eagles, he once again recorded 13 combined tackles to go along with a quarterback hit in the 21–17 victory.[88] In Week 14, against the Cleveland Browns, he recorded two forced fumbles in the game.[89] Overall, on the 2018 season, he started in all 16 games and finished with two sacks, 130 total tackles, five quarterback hits, one interception, six passes defensed, and two forced fumbles.[90] For the fifth time in his career, he was named as a First Team All-Pro.[91] He was named to his sixth consecutive Pro Bowl, which he withdrew from.[92][93]

Player profile

Standing 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) and weighing 238 pounds (108.0 kg), Kuechly is taller than the average linebacker (6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m)), but somewhat lighter than average (246 pounds (111.6 kg)).[94] Since coming into the NFL in 2012, Kuechly has been one of the most dominant defenders in the league, excelling as a pass rusher, run defender and especially when he drops back into coverage. His athletic playing style, coupled with uncanny vision and instincts for the ball, propelled Kuechly to a top impact player each year in his professional career and has drawn him comparisons to Pro Hall of Fame player Brian Urlacher.[95]

Many analysts, coaches, and current and former players consider Kuechly to be the best linebacker in the game today and one of the greatest linebackers of all-time.[96][97][98][99] Kuechly had an immediate impact his rookie season, as he led the NFL in tackles[1] and won the Associated Press 2012 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award, becoming the third youngest recipient in its history, and was voted the youngest recipient of the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award in the awards history.[2][3] He's been consistently ranked in the NFL Top 100 players, since 2013. His athleticism and feel for the game allows him to excel in pass defense. He is rated among the best coverage players each year in his career and was rated the best coverage defender among all defensive players, by Pro Football Focus in 2015, which is considered rare honor for a linebacker.[100]

Career statistics

Regular season

Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Comb Total Ast Sck SFTY TFL PDef Int Yds Avg Lng TD FF FR
2012 CAR 16 16 164 103 61 1.0 0 12 7 2 22 11.0 25 0 0 3
2013 CAR 16 16 156 93 63 2.0 0 10 7 4 33 8.2 30 0 0 0
2014 CAR 16 16 153 99 54 3.0 0 9 12 1 0 0.0 0 0 1 1
2015 CAR 13 13 118 76 42 1.0 0 7 10 4 48 12.0 32T 1 2 1
2016 CAR 10 10 102 71 31 2.0 0 6 6 1 1 1.0 1 0 1 0
2017 CAR 15 15 125 74 51 1.5 0 7 6 3 23 7.7 23 0 1 3
2018 CAR 16 16 130 93 37 2.0 0 20 6 1 0 0.0 0 0 2 1
Career 102 102 948 609 339 12.5 0 71 54 16 127 -- 32 1 7 9

Postseason

Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Comb Total Ast Sck SFTY PDef Int Yds Avg Lng TD FF FR
2013 CAR 1 1 10 7 3 1.0 -- 1 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
2013 CAR 2 2 18 8 10 0.0 -- 2 1 1 1.0 1 0 -- --
2015 CAR 3 3 29 13 16 1.0 -- 4 2 36 18.0 22 2 0 1
2017 CAR 1 1 4 4 0 0.0 -- 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0

Personal life

Kuechly is the middle child in his family, with an older brother named John and younger brother named Henry. His family members are avid outdoorsmen and Luke began bird hunting at age four. He also fishes, shoots skeet, and hunts deer. Kuechly didn't begin playing football until fourth grade and always wanted to play defense. While attending St. Xavier High School, Kuechly wore number 3.[101] After his rookie season in the NFL, Kuechly returned to Boston College and completed a full semester of classes toward his undergraduate degree. In 2015 he completed his final degree requirements to earn a marketing degree from the Boston College Carroll School of Management.[102][103]

Kuechly is a devout Roman Catholic, and credits his parents and his Catholic faith for making a positive impact on his NFL career and his outlook on life. "I went to a Catholic grade school, Jesuit high school and a Jesuit college, and I think you just learn certain things growing up in that environment. Really, the biggest thing I learned from it is respect and to treat people correctly."[104]

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External links

2011 Atlantic Coast Conference football season

The 2011 ACC football season is an NCAA football season that will be played from September 1, 2011, to January 4, 2012. The Atlantic Coast Conference consists of 12 members in two divisions. The Atlantic division consists of Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Maryland, North Carolina State and Wake Forest. The Coastal division consists of Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia, and Virginia Tech. The division champions will meet on December 3 in the 2011 ACC Championship Game, located in Charlotte, North Carolina at Bank of America Stadium.

2011 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (January)

The 2011 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl game was the 9th edition of the annual college football bowl game known previously as the Emerald Bowl. It was played after the 2010 NCAA Division I FBS football season at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California on January 9, 2011 (6 p.m. PT) between the Nevada Wolf Pack and the Boston College Eagles. ESPN television broadcast the game with Kraft as the title sponsor.This marked the first time in the bowl's history that the game was not played in December; the game was played the night before the BCS National Championship Game.

Scoring two touchdowns in the first quarter by Rishard Matthews, the Nevada Wolf Pack defeated Boston College 20–13 for the bowl title.

2015 Carolina Panthers season

The 2015 Carolina Panthers season was the franchise's 21st season in the National Football League (NFL) and their fifth under head coach Ron Rivera. This season marked the first time in team history they played on Thanksgiving.

Despite waiving longtime running back and franchise rushing leader DeAngelo Williams and losing top wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin to a torn ACL in the preseason, the Panthers had their best regular season in franchise history and one of the best regular seasons in NFL history. They finished the regular season 15–1, becoming the seventh team to win at least 15 regular season games since the league expanded to a 16-game schedule in 1978. The Panthers joined the 1984 San Francisco 49ers, 1985 Chicago Bears (for whom Rivera played as a linebacker), 1998 Minnesota Vikings, 2004 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2007 New England Patriots (who were a perfect 16–0 in the regular season) and the 2011 Green Bay Packers as the only teams to accomplish this feat.

Carolina started the season 14–0, not only setting franchise records for the best start and the longest single-season winning streak, but also posting the best start to a season by an NFC team since the NFL–AFL merger, breaking the 13–0 record previously shared with the 2009 New Orleans Saints and the aforementioned 2011 Packers. They joined the 1972 Miami Dolphins, 2007 Patriots and 2009 Indianapolis Colts, all from the AFC, as the only teams to reach 14–0. Carolina clinched their third straight NFC South title on December 6, when the Atlanta Falcons lost earlier that day, becoming the first team to clinch a playoff berth that season, and giving the Panthers a home playoff game for the third consecutive year.

The Panthers' undefeated streak came to an end at the hands of the Falcons in a Week 16 rematch. A week later, however, Carolina routed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to finish 15–1, giving the Panthers home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

In the playoffs, the Panthers defeated the Seattle Seahawks 31–24 in the divisional round, avenging their elimination at the hands of the Seahawks from the previous season. The Panthers then blew out the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship game by a score of 49–15, but lost to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 by a score of 24–10, thus becoming the fifth straight team to have at least 15 victories and not win the Super Bowl. The Panthers were also close to rematching the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl for the first time in 11 years.

Had it not been for John Fox's departure from the Broncos last season, it would've been the second straight time that a head coach meets his former team in a Super Bowl.

2016 All-Pro Team

The 2016 All-Pro teams were named by the Associated Press (AP), Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA), and Sporting News (SN) for performance in the 2016 NFL season. While none of the All-Pro teams have the official imprimatur of the NFL (whose official recognition is nomination to the 2017 Pro Bowl), they are included in the NFL Record and Fact Book and also part of the language of the 2011 NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement. Any player selected to the first-team of any of the teams can be described as an "All-Pro." The AP team, with first-team and second-team selections, was chosen by a national panel of fifty NFL writers and broadcasters. For the first time, the nationwide panel of 60 sports writers and broadcasters who regularly cover the NFL voted for specific positions on the offensive line, a "flex" player on offense, a fifth defensive back, and a punt returner and special teamer. The Sporting News All-NFL team is voted on by NFL players and executives and will be released at a later date. The PFWA team is selected by its more than 300 national members who are accredited media members covering the NFL.

2017 All-Pro Team

The 2017 All-Pro teams were named by the Associated Press (AP), Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA), and Sporting News (SN) for performance in the 2017 NFL season. While none of the All-Pro teams have the official imprimatur of the NFL (whose official recognition is nomination to the 2018 Pro Bowl), they are included in the NFL Record and Fact Book and also part of the language of the 2011 NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement. Any player selected to the first-team of any of the teams can be described as an "All-Pro." The AP team, with first-team and second-team selections, was chosen by a national panel of fifty NFL writers and broadcasters. The Sporting News All-NFL team is voted on by NFL players and executives and will be released at a later date. The PFWA team is selected by its more than 300 national members who are accredited media members covering the NFL.

2018 Carolina Panthers season

The 2018 season was the Carolina Panthers' 24th in the National Football League and their eighth under head coach Ron Rivera. It was the team's first season without former assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, who became head coach of the Arizona Cardinals in the offseason and former offensive coordinator Mike Shula, who became the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator of the New York Giants. The Panthers entered the season hoping to improve or match their 11–5 record from last year. After starting 6–2, the Panthers fell into a 7-game losing streak, failing to improve or match their previous season's record, and were eliminated from playoff contention following a loss to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 16. Although they went a dismal 1–7 in the second half of the season, the Panthers managed to end on a high note by defeating their division rival the New Orleans Saints 33–14.

2nd Annual NFL Honors

The 2nd annual NFL Honors was an awards show presented by the National Football League to salute the best players and plays from the 2012 NFL season. The event was held at the Mahalia Jackson Theater in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 2, 2013 and was hosted by Alec Baldwin. The show aired on CBS and recorded a 0.9 rating with 3.8 million viewers.Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson won four awards, the most of any player. Baldwin's opening monologue, in which he roasted the NFL's biggest stars, was praised. Steve Specht, winner of the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year, was the coach of Luke Kuechly, another award winner, at St. Xavier High School (Cincinnati).

A. J. Klein

A. J. Klein (born July 30, 1991) from Kimberly, Wisconsin is an American football linebacker for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Iowa State. He was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Art Rooney Award

The Art Rooney Award is given annually by the National Football League (NFL) in recognition of outstanding sportsmanship on the playing field. Established in 2015, the award is named in honor of Art Rooney, the founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The award is determined by a vote of the NFL players. The award is presented each year to an NFL player who demonstrates on the field the qualities of great sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for opponents, and integrity in competition.

Each NFL team nominates one player during the season. A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community selected from the 32 nominees eight finalists (four in the American Football Conference; four in the National Football Conference). The panel of Legends Coordinators in the inaugural year was composed of Warrick Dunn, Curtis Martin, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler. Along with the award, the winner receives a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice.

Boston College Eagles football

The Boston College Eagles football team represents Boston College in the sport of American football. The Eagles compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Formed in 1892, Boston College's football team was one of six "Major College" football programs in New England as designated by NCAA classifications, starting in 1938. By 1981, and for the remainder of the twentieth century, BC was New England's sole Division I-A program. It has amassed a 632–454–37 record and is 99–54 since the turn of the 21st century.

Steve Addazio is currently the team's head coach. Boston College is one of only two Catholic universities that field a team in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the other being Notre Dame. The Eagles' home games are played at Alumni Stadium on the Boston College campus in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. In addition to success on the gridiron, Boston College football teams are consistently ranked among the nation's best for academic achievement and graduation. In 2005, 2006, and 2007, the football team's Academic Progress Rate was the highest of any school that finished the season ranked in the AP or ESPN/USA Today Coaches' polls.

Boston College Eagles football statistical leaders

The Boston College Eagles football statistical leaders are individual statistical leaders of the Boston College Eagles football program in various categories, including passing, rushing, receiving, total offense, defensive stats, and kicking. Within those areas, the lists identify single-game, single-season, and career leaders. The Eagles represent Boston College in the NCAA's Atlantic Coast Conference.

Although Boston College began competing in intercollegiate football in 1893, the school's official record book does not generally lists records from before the 1950s, as records from before this decade are often incomplete and inconsistent.

These lists are dominated by more recent players for several reasons:

Since the 1950s, seasons have increased from 10 games to 11 and then 12 games in length.

The NCAA didn't allow freshmen to play varsity football until 1972 (with the exception of the World War II years), allowing players to have four-year careers.

Bowl games only began counting toward single-season and career statistics in 2002. The Eagles have played in 12 bowl games since this decision, allowing many recent players an extra game to accumulate statistics.These lists are updated through the end of the 2016 season.

Butkus Award

The Butkus Award, instituted in 1985 by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando, is given annually to the top linebackers at the high school, collegiate and professional levels of football. The award, named in honor of College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker, Dick Butkus, is presented by the Butkus Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports a number of health and wellness activities including the "I Play Clean" anti-steroid program. The award was first established by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando, which relinquished control of the award in 2008 following a lawsuit by Butkus.Traditionally, the award was given only to the top collegiate linebacker. The Butkus Award was expanded in 2008 to include high school and professional winners as part of a makeover by the Butkus family to help end anabolic steroid abuse among young athletes. Two players have won both the high school and collegiate Butkus Awards: Notre Dame linebackers Manti Te'o (2008, 2012) and Jaylon Smith (2012, 2015).

Jon Beason

Jonathan "Jon" Beason (born January 14, 1985) is a former American football linebacker who played in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Miami, and was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He also played for the New York Giants.

List of Carolina Panthers Pro Bowl selections

This is a list of Carolina Panthers players who were elected to the Pro Bowl, the annual all-star game of the NFL. Pro Bowl rosters are determined by a combination of fan, player, and coach voting. In 2015, the Panthers had a franchise record 10 players selected to the Pro Bowl.

The year indicates the season for which the player was elected, not the year in which the game was played.

List of Carolina Panthers first-round draft picks

The Carolina Panthers joined the National Football League (NFL) in 1995 as the league's 29th franchise. Their first ever selection was Kerry Collins, a quarterback from Penn State, in the 1995 NFL Draft. The team's most recent first-round selection was Christian McCaffrey, a running back from Stanford, in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Every year during April, each NFL franchise seeks to add new players to its roster through a collegiate draft officially known as "the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting" but more commonly known as the NFL Draft. Teams are ranked in inverse order based on the previous season's record, with the worst record picking first, and the second worst picking second and so on. The two exceptions to this order are made for teams that appeared in the previous Super Bowl; the Super Bowl champion always picks 32nd, and the Super Bowl loser always picks 31st. Teams have the option of trading away their picks to other teams for different picks, players, cash, or a combination thereof. Thus, it is not uncommon for a team's actual draft pick to differ from their assigned draft pick, or for a team to have extra or no draft picks in any round due to these trades.The Panthers' only first overall selection came in 2011, when they selected Newton. They would have picked first in 2002, however, the inception of the Houston Texans that year allowed Houston to pick first instead of Carolina. Carolina had the first overall pick in their inaugural season, but traded the pick to the Bengals for the 5th and 36th overall selection. The Panthers have twice selected a Miami Hurricanes player in the first round: linebacker Dan Morgan in 2001 and Beason in 2007.

Collins, the team's first ever selection, made the Pro Bowl and led the Panthers to the playoffs in only their second season of existence, but he was later released after struggling on and off the field with alcoholism. Rae Carruth began his career as a promising wide receiver, but he was dropped from the team after being arrested for hiring someone to kill his pregnant girlfriend (he would later be convicted of the crime). Julius Peppers won Rookie of the Year, was named to the Pro Bowl on several occasions, and was the centerpiece of the Panthers' defensive line until signing with the Chicago Bears. Dan Morgan was also a highly touted Pro Bowl linebacker, but repeated concussions had caused him to miss parts of several seasons until the Panthers released him in 2008. The Panthers drafted Jon Beason in 2007 partially to insure their defense against Morgan's absence. Newton threw for 422 yards in his debut game, an NFL record, went on to set several passing records as a rookie, and won the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Kuechly led the NFL in tackles his rookie year, and won the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award one year after Newton's offensive ROTY.When the Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars joined the league together in 1995, both teams participated in an expansion draft, where they selected players from 30 existing NFL teams. This list does not include players selected in that draft.

List of Carolina Panthers seasons

The Carolina Panthers are a professional American football team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The team was founded in 1993, when, along with the Jacksonville Jaguars, they were accepted into the National Football League (NFL) as an expansion team. The Panthers are owned by David Tepper.

The Carolina Panthers began play in 1995, and spent their first 7 seasons in the NFC West division, making it to the NFC Championship game in 1996, which was only their 2nd year as a football franchise.

In 2002, the Panthers were moved to the NFC South after the NFL realigned their divisions due to the Houston Texans joining the league as an expansion team. Over their 20 seasons in the NFL, the Panthers have played in over 300 games, winning 6 division titles (one in the NFC West and five in the NFC South) and reaching the NFL playoffs 8 times. The Panthers have never had back-to-back winning seasons, but recorded their first back-to-back-to-back playoff seasons in 2013 and 2014, becoming the first team in the history of the NFC South to win consecutive division titles in the process. They won a third consecutive division title in 2015, finishing with a league-best 15–1 record and securing homefield advantage in the playoffs for the first time in team history.

The team's worst regular season record was 2001, where they finished 1–15, worst in the league for that season; although they won their first game, they lost each of the remaining 15. Their best regular season record was accomplished in 2015, when they finished 15–1. The team has reached the Super Bowl twice; in 2003, when they lost Super Bowl XXXVIII 29–32 to the New England Patriots, and 2015, when they lost Super Bowl 50 10–24 to the Denver Broncos. Overall, the team has recorded 7 winning seasons, 12 losing seasons, and three 8–8 seasons; they have reached the playoffs 8 times. Including the playoffs, they have an overall record of 192 wins, 191 losses, and 1 tie (.501 winning percentage).

Madden NFL 15

Madden NFL 15 is an American football sports video game based on the National Football League and published by EA Sports. The game was announced for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on April 28, 2014, and was released on August 26, 2014 in the United States and Europe three days later. As in previous years, EA Sports conducted a fan vote via ESPN to elect the cover athlete for the game. Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman won the cover vote and the rest of the Legion of Boom defense was featured on the games start menu.

National Football League Defensive Player of the Year Award

Several organizations give out NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards that are listed in the NFL Record and Fact Book and Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. The Associated Press (AP) has been giving the award since 1972; Pro Football Writers of America/Pro Football Weekly since 1970; and Sporting News has announced winners since 2008. The Newspaper Enterprise Association was the originator of the award in 1966. However, it became defunct after 1997. Also going defunct was the United Press International (UPI) AFC-NFC Defensive Player of the Year Awards that began in 1975.

Thomas Davis (American football)

Thomas Antonio Davis Sr. (born March 22, 1983) is an American football linebacker for the Los Angeles Chargers of the National Football League (NFL). Davis played college football for the University of Georgia, and was recognized as a consensus All-American. He was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft. In 2012, Davis became the first professional athlete to return to play in his top sporting league after three anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, as well as having all three tears in the same knee.

Legend
Led the league
NFL Defensive Player of the Year
Bold Career high
Carolina Panthers current roster
Active roster
Luke Kuechly—awards and honors

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