Linebacker DAVID HARRIS of the New York Jets, running back BRANDON JACKSON of the Green Bay Packers, quarterback MATT MOORE of the Carolina Panthers, quarterback TROY SMITH of the Baltimore Ravens and linebacker JYLES TUCKER of the San Diego Chargers are the finalists for DIET PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK honors for games played on December 29 - 30, the NFL announced Monday.
Fans can vote for one of these five players on NFL.com beginning Monday at 2:00 PM CT and ending on Wednesday at 4:00 PM CT to determine the DIET PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK. The DIET PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK will be announced Wednesday evening on NFL.com.
In addition, for the third year, NFL fans may cast their votes for the DIET PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK using phones with Sprint wireless service - an opportunity available only to Sprint customers. This fast, convenient voting method involves texting the word PEPSI to short code 7777. Sprint customers will then receive an interactive text message that links fans to the ballot with the five finalists each week. Data and text messaging rates may apply.
After the regular season, five players will be nominated for Diet 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 XLII in Arizona.
A closer look at the finalists:
-New York Jets' DAVID HARRIS made 11 tackles, defensed two passes and had a sack to help the Jets beat the Kansas City Chiefs 13-10.
-Green Bay's BRANDON JACKSON ran the ball 20 times for 113 yards and made two receptions for 22 yards in the Packers' 34-13 win over the Detroit Lions.
-Carolina's MATT MOORE led the Panthers to a 31-23 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Moore completed 15 of 24 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns to bring the Panthers to victory. Moore led the Panthers to gain 349 total net yards and control the ball for 31:50.
-Baltimore's TROY SMITH led the Ravens to a 27-21 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers by completing 16 of 27 passes for 171 yards and scoring one touchdown. Smith also carried the ball five times and totaled 23 rushing yards, to help the Ravens gain 334 total net yards and control the ball for 36:42.
-San Diego's JYLES TUCKER finished with three tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles in the Chargers' 30 - 17 win over the Oakland Raiders. Tucker sacked and stripped Oakland QB JaMarcus Russell of the football, then recovered the fumble in the end zone to give the Chargers a 24-10 lead in the third quarter.
This is Pepsi's sixth year as the official soft drink sponsor of the NFL and the third year that Diet Pepsi will present the NFL Rookie of the Week and NFL Rookie of the Year awards.