The NFL announced today that quarterbacks DREW BREES of the New Orleans Saints, MATT FLYNN of the Green Bay Packers and ELI MANNINGof the New York Giants are the finalists for the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week honors for games played on January 1, while running backs MAURICE JONES-DREW of the Jacksonville Jaguars, RAY RICE of the Baltimore Ravens and MICHAEL TURNER of the Atlanta Falcons 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 from 12 a.m. EST on Monday through 6 p.m. EST on Wednesday to determine the FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week. The winners will be announced Friday on NFL Total Access on NFL Network and on NFL.com.
FedEx will support education efforts at Junior Achievement by making weekly $2,000 donations in the winning players' names. The funding, allocated to local Junior Achievement area offices in that team's city or state, is used to educate the next generation of entrepreneurs on how to start and grow their own small businesses.
This season fans will be voting for more than their favorite player. FedEx introduces a new program called the FedEx Small Business of the Week. As fans visit NFL.com/FedEx to vote for their favorite Air & Ground players each week, they can also cast their vote for one of three small business nominees. FedEx will award $5,000 each week to the small business that receives the most online votes. The program then culminates in recognizing the FedEx Small Business of the Year with an all-inclusive trip to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.
A closer look at the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week finalists:
- New Orleans Saints quarterback DREW BREEScompleted 28 of 35 passes for 389 yards, five touchdowns and one interception in the Saints' 45-17 victory over the Carolina Panthers
- Green Bay Packers quarterback MATT FLYNN converted 31 of 44 pass attempts for 480 yards, six touchdowns and one interception in the Packers' 45-41 win over the Detroit Lions
- New York Giants quarterback ELI MANNING completed 24 of 33 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns as the Giants defeated the Dallas Cowboys 31-14 and won the NFC East. With his final score, Manning eclipsed the NFL record for most fourth-quarter touchdown passes in a season, with 15.
A closer look at the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week finalists:
- Jacksonville Jaguars running back MAURICE JONES-DREWhad 25 attempts for 169 yards in the Jaguars' 19-13 defeat of the Indianapolis Colts.
- Baltimore Ravens running back RAY RICE carried 24 times for 191 yards and two touchdowns in the Ravens' 24-16 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
- Atlanta Falcons running back MICHAEL TURNER had 17 attempts for 172 yards and two touchdowns in the Falcons' 45-24 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
As the Official Delivery Service Sponsor of the NFL, Super Bowl and Pro Bowl, FedEx created the Air & Ground program to highlight superior on-field performance among the league's top-performing quarterbacks and running backs, while providing business solutions that matter off-the-field. Follow FedEx on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter @FedExDelivers.