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NFL: Peppers wins defensive award

Associated Press
CHARLOTTE ó Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers was honored as the NFC defensive player of the week on Wednesday after one of the best games of his career.
Peppers had three sacks, three tackles for a loss and forced two fumbles as Carolina overcame a sluggish offense performance by holding Oakland without a touchdown in a 17-6 win.
“Julius, no question, has had a lot of big games and we needed one Sunday,” coach John Fox said. “The type of game it was we needed that phase of the game to be big and he was a big part of that.”
Peppers appears to have shaken off the worst year of his career in 2007 and an inconsistent beginning to this season to show flashes of the play that earned him three straight Pro Bowl selections from 2004-06. Peppers is tied for fifth in the league with seven sacks and leads the NFL with four forced fumbles.
Peppers is also part of a defensive unit that is second in scoring defense and on Sunday held an opponent without a touchdown for the third time this season.
“Good week for me individually, but it speaks to what we’re doing as a team collectively,” Peppers said. “I was the one getting the sacks and making the plays, but it came off the other guys, working off them helping, too.”

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