Cornerback AHMAD CARROLL of the Green Bay Packers, wide receiver KEARY COLBERT of the Carolina Panthers, wide receiver LEE EVANS of Buffalo Bills, running back JULIUS JONES of the Dallas Cowboys, defensive end KENECHI UDEZE of the Minnesota Vikings and linebacker JONATHAN VILMA of the New York Jets are the finalists for PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK honors for games played on November 25, 28-29, the NFL announced Tuesday.
Fans can vote for one of these five players on NFL.com beginning Tuesday morning and ending on Thursday afternoon to determine the PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK. The PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK will be announced Thursday afternoon on NFL.com.
After the regular season, five players will be nominated for Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year honors. Fans can vote for the winner on NFL.com throughout the month of January. The winner will be announced at a press conference at Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville.
A closer look at the finalists:
Green Bay's Ahmad Carroll recorded two tackles, one interception and returned a fumble 40 yards for a touchdown in the Packers' 45-17 victory over the St. Louis Rams. Carroll scored the first points of the game and the first touchdown of his career in the opening quarter. His interception, also his first, came in the third quarter.
Carolina's Keary Colbert caught three passes for 72 yards and two touchdowns in the Panthers' 21-14 victory over the NFC South-rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Colbert opened the scoring with a 24-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter and scored the game-winning points in the fourth quarter with a 40-yard touchdown reception.
Buffalo's Lee Evans caught six passes for 70 yards and one touchdown in the Bills' 38-9 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Evans scored on a three-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter to give him three touchdowns for the season. He ranks second on the team with 25 catches for 444 yards.
Dallas' Julius Jones carried 33 times for 150 yards and two touchdowns in the Cowboys' 21-7 victory over the Chicago Bears. Jones set career highs in carries and yards, and scored his first two NFL touchdowns on runs of 33 and four yards.
Minnesota's Kenechi Udeze recorded two tackles, one sack and one forced fumble in the Vikings' 27-16 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Udeze's sack of Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich late in the fourth quarter caused a fumble that was returned for a touchdown by Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams to seal Minnesota's win.
Miami's Derrick Pope recorded eight tackles and one sack and recovered a fumble that he returned one yard for a touchdown in the Dolphins' 24-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Pope's touchdown return after recovering the fumble was his first NFL touchdown and provided the Dolphins with their margin of victory.
This is Pepsi's third year as the official soft drink sponsor of the NFL.