LB Tamba Hali earns weekly NFL award

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The league on Wednesday recognized Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali as the AFC Defensive Player of the Week.

The award comes on the heels of Hali’s two-sack performance in Week 14 against the Washington Redskins.

Dec 8, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) runs with the ball as Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali (91) attempts to tackle in the second quarter at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 8, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) runs with the ball as Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali (91) attempts to tackle in the second quarter at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The two-time Pro Bowler has 11 sacks on the season, tied for the team lead with outside linebacker Justin Houston.

Hali has four multi-sack efforts on the season and 18 on his career. The Chiefs are 4-0 this year when he’s recorded 1.5 or more sacks. Overall, the Chiefs are 13-5 in games when the eighth-year pro has produced 1.5 or more quarterback sacks.

Hali’s 73.5 career sacks rank as the third-most in team history.

Hali and Houston are currently tied for fourth in the league in sacks behind Indianapolis Colts defensive end Robert Mathis (15.5).

Wednesday’s announcement marks the second time this season Hali has been recognized as the AFC Defensive Player of the Week. The league previously recognized Hali after Week 6’s three-sack performance against the Oakland Raiders.

Hali’s recognition marks the fourth time this season the Chiefs have produced an AFC Defensive Player of the Week. Houston also won it twice (Weeks 1 and 3). Hali has won the award three times in his career.

Also receiving consideration from the Chiefs for Week 14 performances were running back Jamaal Charles, who rushed for 151 yards on 19 carries and scored two touchdowns (rushing, receiving), and wide receiver Dexter McCluster, who had a 74-yard punt return for a touchdown.

McCluster amassed 177 total yards in returns, a team record.

However, McCluster lost out in the Special Teams Player of the Week to Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater, whose 64-yard field goal set an NFL record.