Ahman Green of the Green Bay Packers, Priest Holmes of the Kansas City Chiefs and Jamal Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens are the finalists for FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year honors, while quarterbacks Daunte Culpepper of the Minnesota Vikings, Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts, and Steve McNair of the Tennessee Titans are the finalists for FedEx Express NFL Player of the Year honors, the NFL announced Monday.
Fans can vote for one player in each category on NFL.com from Monday, January 5 through Monday, January 19 to determine the FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Year.
The FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Year winners will be announced Wednesday, January 28 at a press conference in Houston, Texas, site of Super Bowl XXXVIII.
The six finalists were chosen by a panel of NFL experts and after tabulating this season's fan voting. Each week, nominees in each category were chosen and NFL fans voted for the winner on NFL.com.
A closer look at the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year finalists:
- Green Bay's Ahman Green led the NFC with 1,883 yards rushing and 15 rushing touchdowns on 355 carries for a 5.3 yards per carry average. Green's 1,883 yards was a career-high that also broke the Packers' single-season rushing record by more than 400 yards. He also caught 50 passes for 367 yards and five touchdowns, to total an NFC best 2,250 yards from scrimmage and career-high and single-season club record 20 touchdowns (combined). Green, who helped the NFC North division-winning Packers to a 10-6 record, was nominated for the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week award six times and won the award in Weeks 4, 5, 9 and 17.
- Kansas City's Priest Holmes scored 27 rushing touchdowns, setting NFL season records for rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns. Holmes rushed for 1,420 yards on 320 carries for a 4.4 yards per carry average, while catching 74 passes for 690 yards for a total of 2,110 yards from scrimmage. He helped lead the Chiefs to a 13-3 record, which included wins in the first nine games, and an AFC West division title. Holmes was nominated for the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week award four times.
- Baltimore's Jamal Lewis became the fifth player in NFL history to break the 2,000-yard mark in a season by rushing for 2,066 yards, the second-most yards in a season behind Eric Dickerson (2,105). Lewis' 2,066 yards came on 387 carries for a 5.3 yards per carry average. He scored 14 rushing touchdowns while also catching 26 passes for 205 yards for a total of 2,205 yards from scrimmage. Lewis, who out-rushed 24 of the other 31 NFL teams in 2003, helped the Ravens to a 10-6 record and an AFC North division title. He was nominated for the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week award six times and won the award in Weeks 2 and 16.
A closer look at the FedEx Express NFL Player of the Year finalists:
- Minnesota's Daunte Culpepper completed 295 of 454 attempts for 3,479 yards and 25 touchdowns for a 96.4 passer rating, the highest in the NFC. Culpepper, who also rushed for 422 yards and four touchdowns on 73 carries, led the Vikings to a 9-7 record and was named to his second Pro Bowl. He led the NFC with a 7.66 yards per pass average and had his second consecutive 3,000-yard passing season. Culpepper was nominated for the FedEx Express NFL Player of the Week award three times.
- Indianapolis' Peyton Manning became the first player in NFL history to pass for 4,000 yards in five consecutive seasons with a league-high 4,267 yards passing, and completed 379 of 566 attempts for an AFC-high 29 touchdowns and an NFL second-best 99.0 passer rating. Manning was named to his fourth Pro Bowl and became the only player in NFL history to pass for 25 or more touchdowns in six consecutive seasons. He led the Colts to a 12-4 record and the AFC South division title. He was nominated for the FedEx Express NFL Player of the Week award four times and won the award in Weeks 4 and 5.
- Tennessee's Steve McNair led the NFL with a 100.4 passer rating and yards per attempt (8.04). He completed 250 of 400 attempts for 3,215 yards and 24 touchdowns, while throwing only seven interceptions. McNair, who was named to his first Pro Bowl this season and was the leading vote-getter in fan voting for the Pro Bowl, led the Titans to a 12-4 record. He won the FedEx Express NFL Player of the Week award in Week 6 and was nominated three times for the award.
*FedEx, the premier global provider of transportation, e-commerce and supply-chain management services, is the Official Delivery Service Sponsor of the NFL, Super Bowl and Pro Bowl.
Through the FedEx Air and Ground NFL Players of the Year voting, FedEx recognizes those NFL quarterbacks and running backs who week after week delivered the reliability, speed and precision that its customers have come to expect from the full range of FedEx air, ground, freight and international shipping services.*