Brees headlines NFC's best for Week 17

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New York, NY ( - New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy and San Francisco 49ers kicker Phil Dawson were named the NFC's top players on offense, defense and special teams for Week 17 of the NFL season.

Brees completed 24-of-31 passes for 381 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 157.4 passer rating in the Saints' 42-17 win over Tampa Bay. The Purdue product also had a nine-yard touchdown run as the Saints clinched a playoff berth.

The 34-year-old Brees became the first quarterback in NFL history to complete 75 percent of his passes with at least 350 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions and a rushing touchdown in a single game. He was selected to his eighth Pro Bowl after throwing for 5,162 yards with 39 touchdowns and 12 interceptions this season.

Hardy had a franchise-record four sacks and six tackles in the Panthers' 21-20 win at Atlanta. With the victory, the Panthers clinched the NFC South division title and a first-round bye.

The 25-year-old Hardy ended the year with 59 tackles and 15 sacks. He was selected to his first Pro Bowl.

Dawson kicked three field goals, including the game-winner as time expired, in the 49ers' 23-20 win at Arizona. With the win, San Francisco locked up the No. 5 seed in the NFC.

The 38-year-old Dawson went 32-of-36 on field goals this season.