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Cardinals’ Dwight Freeney named Defensive Player of the Week

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) is sacked by Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Dwight Freeney during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Dwight Freeney has been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week after a monster game against the Green Bay Packers last Sunday.

The 14-year veteran had three quarterback sacks in the Cardinals’ 38-8 win at University of Phoenix Stadium. His second sack against Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers forced a fumble that was picked up by Jerraud Powers and returned for a touchdown in the third quarter.

This the sixth time Freeney has won a Defensive Player of the Week Award and the first time it’s come in the NFC. He won the first five weekly honors as a member of the Indianapolis Colts.

Freeney’s outburst was part of a nine-sack game for the Cardinals — the most they’ve had in a contest since the 1986 season.

The 35-year-old leads Arizona in sacks with seven, despite not playing in the first five games of the season. Freeney was signed by the Cardinals in mid-October.

He becomes the sixth different Cardinals player to win an NFC weekly award this season, and the third defensive player to do so. Safety Deone Bucannon won the honor in Week 15 while safety Tyrann Mathieu took home the award in Week 3.