NFL UNVEILS FEDEX AIR & GROUND NFL PLAYERS OF THE YEAR CANDIDATES FOR FAN VOTING

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Quarterbacks TOM BRADY of the New England Patriots, PEYTON MANNING of the Denver Broncos and AARON RODGERS of the Green Bay Packers are the finalists for the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Year honors, while running backs MARSHAWN LYNCH of the Seattle Seahawks, ALFRED MORRIS of the Washington Redskins and ADRIAN PETERSON of the Minnesota Vikings are the finalists for the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year, the NFL announced today.                            

Fans can vote for one player in each category on NFL.com/FedEx until Friday, January 25 at 9 pm ET to determine the FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Year.

During the week leading up to Super Bowl XLVII, FedEx plans to announce the 2012 FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Year in New Orleans, as well as make a $25,000 donation in each winning player’s name to Junior Achievement offices in the their city.  The funding 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.

This season, fans voted for more than their favorite player. As part of the Air & Ground program and its commitment to small business owners, FedEx supported education efforts at Junior Achievement by making weekly $2,000 donations in each of the winning players’ names.

A closer look at the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Year finalists:

  • New England’s TOM BRADY threw for an AFC best 4,827 yards in the 2012 regular season.  His 34 touchdown passes helped lead the Patriots to a 12-4 record and another AFC East title making him the first starting quarterback in in NFL history to win 10 division titles.  Brady extended his streak to 48 games with at least one touchdown pass, passing Hall of Famer JOHNNY UNITAS (47) for the second-longest such streak in NFL history.  He also became only one of five quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for over 4,000 yards at least five times in a career. Brady, who was selected to the 2013 Pro Bowl, was nominated for FedEx Air Player of the Week five times, winning three times.
  • Denver’s PEYTON MANNING registered single-season franchise bests in passing yards (4,659), touchdown passes (37) and passer rating (105.8) in his first season with the Broncos. Manning’s 37 touchdown passes and 105.8 passer rating led the AFC in 2012.  In Week 17, Manning posted his 73rd career game with three or more touchdown passes, moving past BRETT FAVRE (72) for the most in NFL history.  He surpassed the 4,000 yard mark for the 12th time in his career to expand his NFL record for 4,000-yard seasons.  Manning, who was selected as the AFC’s starting quarterback for the 2013 Pro Bowl, led the Broncos to a 13-3 record and an AFC West crown.  He was nominated for FedEx Air Player of the Week five times, winning once.  Manning has been named FedEx Air Player of the Year twice before (2003, 2004).  
  • Green Bay’s AARON RODGERS finished the 2012 season as the NFL’s leading passer (108.0) for the second consecutive season.  Selected as the NFC’s starting quarterback for the 2013 Pro Bowl, Rodgers threw for 4,295 yards and 39 touchdowns which was second best in the NFL.  His 39 touchdown passes places him amongst Hall of Famer DAN MARINO and Favre as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with three seasons of at least 30 touchdown passes before the age of 30.  Rodgers, who directed the Packers to an 11-5 record on way to a division title was nominated for FedEx Air Player of the Week three times, winning twice.  Rodgers was named FedEx Air Player of the Year in 2010.     

A closer look at the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year finalists:

  • Seattle’s MARSHAWN LYNCH rushed for 1,590 yards on 315 carries in the 2012 regular season.  His 1,590 yards ranks third all-time in franchise history.  He scored 11 touchdowns and averaged 99.4 yards per game.  En route to Seattle’s 11 wins, Lynch gained 100 yards or more in 10 of the 16 games this season, finishing the year with four straight 100+ yard performances (Weeks 14 through 17).  Selected to the 2013 Pro Bowl, Lynch was nominated for FedEx Ground Player of the Week three times. 
  • Washington’s ALFRED MORRIS finished the season with a franchise-best 1,613 yards rushing on 335 attempts.  His 13 rushing touchdowns led the NFC and were the second-most in the NFL.  He eclipsed the 100 yard mark seven times and reached 200 yards in a Week 17 win over the Dallas Cowboys for the NFC East title. Morris averaged 100.8 yards per game which was second overall in the NFL.  The rookie stand-out was nominated and won FedEx Ground Player of the Week one time.
  • Minnesota’s ADRIAN PETERSON rushed his way into the history books finishing the year with 2,097 yards rushing, second-most in league history and just nine yards shy of breaking Hall of Famer ERIC DICKERSON’s NFL record (2,105).  Peterson, who was second in the NFL in carries (348), tied EARL CAMPBELL for the most games with at least 150 rushing yards in a single season (seven). He scored 12 touchdowns on the ground and led the NFL in yards per game (131.1).  Peterson accumulated 1,313 yards in eight games (Weeks 7 through 15), the most over any eight-game span in a single season in NFL history.  Selected as the NFC’s starting running back for the 2013 Pro Bowl, Peterson was nominated for FedEx Ground Player of the Week seven times, winning three times.  Peterson was named FedEx Ground Player of the Year in 2008. 

As the Official Delivery Service Sponsor of the NFL, Super Bowl and Pro Bowl, FedEx is proud to sponsor the 10th annual Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week program. The awards highlight superior on-field performance among the league’s top-performing quarterbacks and running backs, while supporting small business efforts and providing business solutions that matter to fans and customers alike. Follow FedEx on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter @FedExDelivers.

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