Safety Marques Anderson of the Green Bay Packers, punt returner Lamont Brightful of the Baltimore Ravens, defensive end Dwight Freeney and running back James Mungro of the Indianapolis Colts and wide receiver Donté Stallworth of the New Orleans Saints are the finalists for Pepsi NFL Rookie Of The Week honors for games played on November 10-11, the NFL announced today.
Fans can vote for one of these five players on NFL.com from Tuesday morning through Wednesday afternoon to determine the Pepsi NFL Rookie Of The Week. The Pepsi NFL Rookie Of The Week will be announced Thursday on NFL.com. It is the first weekly NFL honor to be selected solely by NFL fans.
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 XXXVII in San Diego.
A closer look at the finalists:
- Green Bay's Marques Anderson recorded four tackles, one pass defensed and returned an interception 14 yards for a touchdown in the Packers' 40-14 win over Detroit. Anderson's interception-return touchdown in the second quarter gave Green Bay a 23-7 lead and was his second interception-return touchdown this season.
- Baltimore's Lamont Brightful had 201 total return yards, including a 95-yard punt return touchdown, in the Ravens' 38-27 win over Cincinnati. Brightful's punt return touchdown, the longest in team history and the longest in the NFL this season, came with 1:23 remaining in the second quarter and gave the Ravens a 24-14 halftime lead. Brightful also had a 54-yard kickoff return to set up a field goal in the second quarter.
- Indianapolis' Dwight Freeney recorded a team-high six tackles, one sack and forced three fumbles in the Colts' 35-13 win over Philadelphia. Freeney, in his first career start, had two forced fumbles in Indianapolis territory and put pressure on Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb all game.
- Indianapolis' James Mungro rushed for 114 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries and caught two passes for 20 yards in the Colts' 35-13 win over Philadelphia. Starting in his first career game, Mungro scored on runs of six and 10 yards against one of the stingiest defenses in the league.
- New Orleans' Donté Stallworth caught three passes for 65 yards and a touchdown in the Saints' 34-24 win over Carolina. Stallworth's seven-yard touchdown reception was the go-ahead score with 31 seconds remaining in the game. The score was Stallworth's fifth of the season and second game-winning touchdown.
This is Pepsi's first year as the official soft drink sponsor of the NFL.