The NFL announced today that quarterbacks Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Buffalo Bills and Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers are the finalists for the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week honors for Week 1 while running backs LeSean McCoy of the Philadelphia Eagles, Ben Tate of the Houston Texans and Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens are the finalists for the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week.
Fans can vote for one player in each category on NFL.com/FedEx through 3 p.m. EST on Friday to determine the FedEx Air and Ground NFL Players of the Week. The winners will be announced Friday.
A look at the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week finalists:
— Brady completed 32 of 48 passes for a career-high and team-record 517 yards with four touchdowns and one interception in the Patriots' 38-24 win over the Miami Dolphins. With his outing, Brady became just the 11th quarterback to pass for over 500 yards in a single game.
— Fitzpatrick completed 17 of 25 passes for 208 yards and four touchdowns in the Bills' 41-7 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. His 133.0 quarterback rating was the best in the league in all week one games.
— Rodgers completed 27 of 35 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns in the Packers' 42-34 win over the New Orleans Saints. All three of his scores came in the first quarter on consecutive possessions to begin the game, as the Packers raced out to an early lead that they would never relinquish.
As part of the Air & Ground program and its commitment to small-business owners, FedEx will support education efforts at Junior Achievement by making weekly $2,000 donations in each of the winning players' names. The funding, allocated to local Junior Achievement area offices in that team's city or state, is used to help U.S. small-business development, by educating the next generation of entrepreneurs on how to start and grow their own businesses.
To vote, CLICK HERE.
Rookie of the Week
Wide receiver Doug Baldwin of the Seattle Seahawks, wide receiver-kick returner Randall Cobb of the Green Bay Packers, linebacker Ryan Kerrigan of the Washington Redskins, quarterback Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers and cornerback-punt returner Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals are the finalists for Pepsi Rookie of the Week.
A look at the finalists:
— Baldwin had four catches for 83 yards and a score. He hit pay dirt on a 55 yard touchdown pass that brought the Seahawks to within two points in the fourth quarter.
— Cobb had two catches for 35 yards and one touchdown, one punt return for five yards and two kickoff returns for 135 yards and a touchdown. His kickoff return score went for an NFL record-tying 108-yards and gave the Packers a 15 point third quarter lead en route to a 42-34 victory over the New Orleans Saints.
— Kerrigan had five tackles and one interception in the Redskins' 28-14 win over the New York Giants. He took his pick nine yards to the house to give the Redskins a third quarter lead that they would not relinquish.
— Newton completed 64.9 percent of his passes for 422 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. In doing so, he broke the record for most passing yards by a rookie in his NFL debut. His one-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter gave the Panthers a seven point lead.
— Peterson returned a punt 89 yards for the go-ahead touchdown in the Cardinals' 28-21 win over the Carolina Panthers. He added five tackles on defense.
After the regular season, five players will be nominated for Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year honors.
To vote, CLICK HERE
Never Say Never Moment
A look at the nominees:
— Benson's sprint seals Cincinnati victory: Cincinnati Bengals RB Cedric Benson secured his team's startling victory over the division-rival Cleveland Browns with a 39-yard game-clinching touchdown run with 18 seconds left. The win came as a surprise: not only was Cleveland winning entering the fourth quarter, but the Bengals also had second-string QB Bruce Gradkowski at the helm for the entire second half.
— Matthews ends Saints' comeback attempt: After a pass interference call in the end zone gave the New Orleans Saints one last untimed down at the 1-yard line to possibly force overtime on the defending Super Bowl champions, Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews led a surge through the Saints' line of scrimmage to stuff rookie RB Mark Ingram and seal a Packers victory.
— McKnight's block highlights Jets' miraculous fourth quarter: The New York Jets trailed 24-10 early in the final quarter of play, but, with five minutes left, stood poised to get the ball back with a chance to tie. But the offense never had to take the field: RB Joe McKnight busted through the Dallas Cowboys' line to block P Mat McBriar's punt, and CB Isaiah Trufant scooped up the loose ball and took it 18 yards for a score. K Nick Folk's field goal with 27 seconds left secured the Jets' victory.
To vote, CLICK HERE. Voting ends at noon EST on Friday.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport.