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Wednesday, December 25, 2013
The '24 Tackles of Kuechly'

By David Newton

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- You've probably heard of "The 12 Days of Christmas."

But what about "The 24 Tackles of Kuechly?"

What Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly did in Sunday's 17-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints deserves some kind of holiday theme music.

There wasn't a pair of turtle doves, but there was a hit on a tight end with gloves. There weren't five golden rings, but there were five backs in gold helmets with dings. There weren't nine ladies dancing, but there were nine primary slammings.

Luke Kuechly
Saints receiver Marques Colston is tackled by Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly after catching a pass during the second quarter.
There was no partridge in a pear tree, but there were lots of tackles after passes from Brees.

This feat that tied the NFL record for most tackles in a game didn't take 12 days, either. Kuechly needed only four 15-minute quarters to collect more Christmas joy than some players do in four holidays.

Let's revisit.

On his second play from scrimmage, a player with true love for the game brought to thee:

1. Kuechly and cornerback Melvin White tackle wide receiver Marques Colston after a 9-yard gain on second and 10.

2. Three plays later, Kuechly tackles Colston after a 3-yard gain on third and 2.

3. On the first play of the second quarter, Kuechly and cornerback Captain Munnerlyn tackle running back Mark Ingram after a 5-yard run on second and 1.

4. On the next play, Kuechly and Munnerlyn tackle running back Pierre Thomas for no gain on a short pass.

5. On the next play, Kuechly runs down Colston for the tackle after a 35-yard gain.

6. On the next play, Kuechly and outside linebacker Thomas Davis tackle Ingram after a 2-yard gain on first and 10.

7. Two plays later, Kuechly tackles Colston to end a drive after an 8-yard gain.

8. Two series later, Kuechly stops Thomas for no gain on first down.

9. On the Saints' next series, Kuechly tackles tight end Jimmy Graham after a 4-yard catch on first down.

10. On the final series of the first half, Kuechly stops Darren Sproles after a 4-yard catch on second and six.

11. Two plays later, Kuechly and Munnerlyn tackle Graham after a 7-yard catch on second-and-19.

12. On the sixth play of the second half, Kuechly and safety Mike Mitchell tackle Ingram after a 6-yard gain on first down.

13. Two plays later, Kuechly and tackle Dwan Edwards tackle Ingram after a 7-yard gain on third-and-19.

14. On the Saints' next series, Kuechly and Davis stop Thomas for no gain on first down.

15. On the next play, Kuechly and cornerback Drayton Florence tackle Ingram after a 9-yard gain on second and 10.

16. On the next play, Kuechly tackles running back Jed Collins after a 3-yard gain.

(Pause and sing to the tune of five golden rings) KUECHLY . . .  INTERCEPTS A PASS.

17. On the first play of New Orleans' next drive, Kuechly and safety Quintin Mikell tackle Collins after a 3-yard gain on first down.

18. On the last play of the third quarter, Kuechly tackles Ingram after a 7-yard gain on first down.

19. On the second play of the fourth quarter, Kuechly tackles Thomas for a 5-yard loss on a short pass.

20. On the Saints' next series, Kuechly and linebacker Chase Blackburn tackle running back Khiry Robinson after a 6-yard gain on second and 3.

21. Three plays later, Kuechly and Blackburn tackle Robinson after a 6-yard run.

22. On the next play, Kuechly and Edwards tackle Robinson after a 1-yard gain.

23. Three plays later, Kuechly tackles Thomas after a 13-yard catch.

24. And on the final tackle by Kuechly, he teams with Kawann Short to stop Ingram.

And then on the day after Kuechly brought 24 tackles to thee ... the coaching staff found two more assists to give him 26.

Have a Very Kuechly Christmas.