DALLAS, (February 2, 2011) – FedEx and the NFL today announced the winners of the eighth annual FEDEX AIR & GROUND® NFL PLAYERS OF THE YEAR AWARDS at a press conference in North Texas, site of Super Bowl XLV.
- QuarterbackAARON RODGERSof the Green Bay Packers was named the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Year
- Running backJAMAAL CHARLESof the Kansas City Chiefs was named the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year.
In honor of the winners' outstanding play, FedEx is donating $25,000 to the Safe Kids USA coalitions in Green Bay and Kansas City, the local organizations in each player's market.
As part of the program during the season, FedEx supported local Safe Kids coalitions by making weekly $2,000 donations in each of the winning players' names to their communities. The funding was used for pedestrian safety improvements throughout the year, from upgraded crosswalks and safety signs to traffic barriers and educational training for children.
OUTSTANDING AIR & GROUND PERFORMANCES
Green Bay's AARON RODGERSfinished in the top 10 in nearly every major passing category this season, with 3,922 passing yards (seventh), 28 touchdowns (tied for sixth), a 65.7 completion percentage (sixth), 40 25-yard passes (second) and a 101.2 passer rating (third). Rodgers' 3,922 passing yards this season brought his total in three seasons as a starter to 12,394, ranking second in NFL history for the most passing yards by a quarterback in his first three seasons as a starter. Rodgers posted a passer rating of at least 110.0 during Week 9 & Weeks 11 – 13 making him the only quarterback since 1970 to post a passer rating of at least 110.0 in four consecutive games in back-to-back seasons.
Kansas City's JAMAAL CHARLESrushed for 1,467 yards (second-most in the league) and averaged 6.38 yards per carry (230 carries), helping the Kansas City Chiefs win the AFC West title and reach the playoffs. Charles joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown (291 attempts, 1,863 yards, 6.40 yards per carry in 1963) as the only players in NFL history to have at least 1,400 rushing yards and average more than 6.30 yards per carry in a single season. Charles played in all 16 games and had five rushing touchdowns, including a 56-yard touchdown to kick off the Chiefs' season in Week 1.
Rodgers and Charles were selected from a panel of three finalists in each of their respective Air and Ground categories. The other FedEx Air NFL Players of the Year finalists were quarterbacksTOM BRADYof the New England Patriots*andPHILIP RIVERS of the San Diego Chargers, while the FedEx Ground NFL Players of the Year finalists included running backs ARIAN FOSTER of the Houston Texans andMICHAEL TURNER *of the Atlanta Falcons.
Former winners of the FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Year Award include:
- (2009) New Orleans Saints QB DREW BREESand Tennessee Titans RB CHRIS JOHNSON
- (2008) New Orleans Saints QB DREW BREESand Minnesota Vikings RB ADRIAN PETERSON
- (2007) Green Bay Packers QB BRETT FAVRE and Jacksonville Jaguars RB FRED TAYLOR
- (2006) New Orleans Saints QB DREW BREESand San Diego Chargers RB LA DAINIAN TOMLINSON
- (2005) Bengals QB CARSON PALMER and Seattle Seahawks RB SHAUN ALEXANDER
- (2004) Indianapolis Colts QB PEYTON MANNING and New York Jets RB CURTIS MARTIN
- (2003) Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning and Green Bay Packers RB AHMAN GREEN
As the Official Delivery Service Sponsor of the NFL, Super Bowl and Pro Bowl, FedEx understands the need for a winning game plan, and created the Air & Ground program to highlight superior on-field performance among the league's top-performing quarterbacks and running backs. Because FedEx has thousands of delivery trucks out on the roads each day, the company is committed to funding pedestrian safety improvements in local communities, donating more than $14 million to Safe Kids Worldwide since 2000. Follow FedEx on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter @FedExDelivers.