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The NFL announced today that quarterbacks TOM BRADY of the New England Patriots, RYAN FITZPATRICK of the Buffalo Bills and AARON RODGERS of the Green Bay Packers are the finalists for the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week honors for games played on September 8 - 12, while running backs LeSEAN McCOYof the Philadelphia Eagles, BEN TATE of the Houston Texans and RAY RICE of the Baltimore Ravens are the finalists for the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week.
Fans can vote for one player in each category on NFL.com/FedEx from 9 a.m. EST on Tuesday through 3 p.m. EST on Friday to determine the FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week. The winners will be announced Friday on NFL Total Access on NFL Network and on NFL.com.
Fans will be voting for more than their favorite player. As part of the Air & Ground program and its commitment to small business owners, FedEx will support education efforts at Junior Achievement, by making weekly $2,000 donations in each of the winning players' names. The funding, allocated to local Junior Achievement area offices in that team's city or state, is used to help U.S. small business development, by educating the next generation of entrepreneurs on how to start and grow their own businesses.
This season, FedEx introduces a new category called the FedEx Small Business of the Week. As fans visit NFL.com/FedEx to vote for their favorite Air & Ground players each week, they can also cast their vote for one of three small business nominees. FedEx will award $5,000 each week to the small business that receives the most online votes. The program culminates in recognizing the FedEx Small Business of the Year at the Super Bowl, complete with tickets to the game.
A closer look at the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week finalists:
- New England's TOM BRADY completed 32 of 48 passes for a career-high and team-record 517 yards with four touchdowns and one interception in the Patriots' 38-24 win over the Miami Dolphins. With his outing, Brady became just the 11th quarterback to pass for over 500 yards in a single game.
- Buffalo's RYAN FITZPATRICKcompleted 17 of 25 passes for 208 yards and four touchdowns in the Bills' 41-7 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. His 133.0 quarterback rating was the best in the league in all week one games.
- Green Bay's AARON RODGERS completed 27 of 35 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns in the Packers' 42-34 win over the New Orleans Saints. All three of his scores came in the first quarter on consecutive possessions to begin the game, as the Packers raced out to an early lead that they would never relinquish.
A closer look at the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week finalists:
- Philadelphia's LeSEAN McCOY had 15 carries for 122 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 15 yards and a touchdown in the Eagles' 31-13 win over the St. Louis Rams. His fourth quarter, 49-yard touchdown scamper effectively ended any chances the Rams had of mounting a comeback.
- Houston's BEN TATE had 24 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown in the Texans' 34-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts. His two-yard touchdown run capped off a 17-0 first quarter that gave the Texans an early and commanding lead.
- Baltimore's RAY RICE had 19 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown and four catches for 42 yards and a touchdown in the Ravens' 35-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rice is the only back to have broken the 100-yard mark against the Steelers in Pittsburgh's last 51 games. His 11-yard touchdown reception with less than two minutes left in the second half gave the Ravens a two-score advantage going into halftime.
As the Official Delivery Service Sponsor of the NFL, Super Bowl and Pro Bowl, FedEx created the Air & Ground program to highlight superior on-field performance among the league's top-performing quarterbacks and running backs, while providing business solutions that matter off-the-field. Follow FedEx on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter @FedExDelivers.