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NFC Defensive Honor For John Abraham

Linebacker's three sacks earn him weekly league award


Linebacker John Abraham gets a strip-sack of Rams quarterback Kellen Clemens last weekend.

To think, John Abraham almost retired.

"You have to understand it's 13 years and it's more of the hustle of the game," the Cardinals linebacker said. "It's not the game. I knew I could still play football. It's just having to move to another place and having to start life back over. You know how it is when you're comfortable in a certain spot, and especially at my age. At 35, that's young in life, but in football, that's graveyard.

"That was a big thing, but being capable to play, I never had a problem saying could I play anymore to this year. Just having this confidence and getting this confidence back, making me feel like I can play a couple more years. It just feels good having that right now."

The Cardinals feel the same after Abraham's current hot streak, still ongoing after he piled up three sacks against the Rams last weekend and added in three tackles for loss. The NFL noticed, with Abraham named the NFC defensive player of the week Wednesday morning.

Abraham becomes the third Cardinal to win a weekly award this season. Cornerback Patrick Peterson was named NFC defensive player of the week after the Cards' Week 4 win in Tampa, and quarterback Carson Palmer won the NFC offensive player of the week award after the Week 12 win over Indianapolis.

It's the fifth time Abraham has won a defensive player of the week award in his career. The first came all the way back in 2001 with the Jets. He also won in 2004 with the Jets and then twice with the Falcons in 2006 and 2011.

Abraham now has 11 sacks this season, all coming in the past seven games. That puts him sixth in the NFL and third in the NFC, and Abraham is the first Cardinal since Bertrand Berry in 2004 to tally double-digit sacks in a season. Berry finished with 14½ that year and was selected to play in the Pro Bowl.

Abraham's big game also moved him to 133 sacks in his career, surpassing Hall of Famers Lawrence Taylor and Leslie O'Neal, who each had 132½ in their careers into ninth place.

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