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Short playing tall for Panthers

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CHARLOTTE — The only time the Panthers have had a player win NFC Defensive Player of the Week awards in back-to-back weeks, cornerback Ricky Manning Jr. was helping Carolina get through the Rams and Eagles in the 2003 playoffs. Twelve years later, defensive tackle Kawann Short has a great shot to join Manning Jr.

Short, who was Week 7’s NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his six-tackle, two-sack, one-pass bat down performance in Seattle, was even better against the Eagles. His line: eight tackles, three sacks, one pass bat down and a forced fumble. Those three sacks are the most by a Panther since former defensive end Greg Hardy racked up four at Atlanta on Dec. 29, 2013.

Over his past three games, Short has totaled 19 tackles, five sacks and three pass bat downs. That’s a successful season for many defensive tackles. When asked how much the game has slowed down for him in his third season, Short said, “A lot. That’s staying out there and watching film and knowing what the guy in front of me is going to do and seeing what he’s capable of and taking advantage of it.”

–Just six games into the season, you could probably make a somewhat lengthy 2015 Thomas Davis highlight reel. The linebacker dished out at least three huge hits Sunday as he led the Panthers with 13 tackles, his most since he had 14 against the Saints on Dec. 22, 2013.

Back together again after Kuechly’s absence, Carolina’s special pair of linebackers have been as advertised the past two weeks with Kuechly racking up 25 tackles and Davis totaling 21.

“Everybody on respective teams want to say that they have the best linebacker duo but for those guys to battle and understand each other, man, it is just fun to watch,” quarterback Cam Newton said.

“It’s like every series or every play, you are going to hear some form of LUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUKE.”

–The Panthers snapped their four-game prime-time regular-season losing streak.

Notes: Quarterback Cam Newton scored his 37th career rushing touchdown, which moved him into a third-place tie with Steve McNair for third-most all-time by a quarterback. Newton now trails only Steve Young (43) and Kordell Stewart (38) for the most since the 1970 merger. … Defensive end Mario Addison (shoulder sprain) walked off the field and straight to the locker room midway through Sunday night’s third quarter. Head coach Ron Rivera said after the game Addison is “very doubtful” to play this week. … Linebacker Shaq Thompson (knee sprain) went through some drills Monday and the Panthers plan to have him as a limited participant when they return to practice Wednesday. If he’s feeling good after that, he could play against the Colts.


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