NFL players of the week: Drew Brees, Greg Hardy take Week 17 awards

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

Drew Brees won his third Offensive Player of the Week award in Week 17, while divisional rival Greg Hardy took home the defensive award.

The NFL announced its players of the week for the final week of the regular season. The top honors in the NFC went to two of the best players in the league, while the AFC had a couple of surprising performances from players that earned them the award.

NFC Offensive Player of the Week: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

It's the third time this season Brees has won the player of the week. He racked up 381 passing yards and threw for four touchdowns in a dominating 42-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, leading the Saints to a wild card berth.

NFC Defensive Player of the Week: Greg Hardy, Carolina Panthers

The Panthers' top defensive lineman had his best game yet against the Atlanta Falcons. Hardy sacked Matt Ryan four times and finished with 15 on the season, matching Kevin Greene for the Panthers' single-season franchise record. The Panthers got a total of nine sacks in a 21-20 win, clinching the NFC South and a first-round bye.

AFC Offensive Player of the Week: LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots

Blount had one of the best games of his career, gashing the Buffalo Bills for 189 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. He also added 145 yards on two kickoff returns, helping the Patriots clinch a first-round bye for the playoffs.

AFC Defensive Player of the Week: Dee Milliner, New York Jets

Milliner has struggled for most of his rookie campaign, but he finished the season on a high note. The Alabama alum recorded two interceptions, five passes defended and four tackles as the Jets bounced the Miami Dolphins out of playoff contention.

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