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                 === Brees headlines NFC's best for Week 17 ===
 
 New  York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees,
 Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy and San Francisco 49ers kicker Phil
 Dawson  were named  the  NFC's top  players on  offense,  defense and  special
 teams for Week 17 of the NFL season.
 
 Brees  completed  24-of-31 passes  for 381  yards with  four touchdowns and no
 interceptions  for  a 157.4 passer rating  in the Saints' 42-17 win over Tampa
 Bay.  The Purdue  product also  had a  nine-yard touchdown  run as  the Saints
 clinched a playoff berth.
 
 The  34-year-old Brees became the first quarterback in NFL history to complete
 75  percent  of his  passes  with  at least  350  yards,  four touchdowns,  no
 interceptions and a rushing touchdown in a single game. He was selected to his
 eighth  Pro Bowl  after throwing  for 5,162  yards with  39 touchdowns  and 12
 interceptions this season.
 
 Hardy had a franchise-record four sacks and six tackles in the Panthers' 21-20
 win at Atlanta. With the victory, the Panthers clinched the NFC South division
 title and a first-round bye.
 
 The  25-year-old  Hardy ended  the year with  59 tackles and  15 sacks. He was
 selected to his first Pro Bowl.
 
 Dawson kicked three field goals, including the game-winner as time expired, in
 the 49ers' 23-20 win at Arizona. With the win, San Francisco locked up the No.
 5 seed in the NFC.
 
 The 38-year-old Dawson went 32-of-36 on field goals this season.
 
 
 12/31 14:18:36 ET

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