Quarterbacks JAY CUTLER of the Denver Broncos, AARON RODGERS of the Green Bay Packers and KURT WARNER of the Arizona Cardinals are the finalists for the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week honors for games played on September 14 - 15, while running backs DARREN MC FADDEN of the Oakland Raiders, WILLIE PARKER of the Pittsburgh Steelers and CLINTON PORTIS of the Washington Redskins are the finalists for the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week honors, the NFL announced today.
Fans can vote for one player in each category on NFL.com/FedEx from 9 a.m. EST on Tuesday through 1 p.m. EST on Friday to determine the FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week. The winners will be announced Friday evening on NFL.com.
Fans will be voting for more than their favorite player. As part of the Air & Ground program for the first time, FedEx is teaming up with Safe Kids USA - a national non-profit organization that works to prevent accidental injury among children - to deliver safer kids by making weekly $1,000 donations in the winning players' names. The funding directly benefits local Safe Kids coalitions in that team's city, to fund pedestrian safety improvements throughout the year. This year, FedEx celebrates its fifth year of the program and will surpass the $1 million mark in funding to create safer communities for children.
New this season, fans can tune into the "FedEx Air & Ground Lowdown" posted only on NFL.com/FedEx starting Wednesday mornings. The show examines the nominees in the Air & Ground categories through exclusive video highlights and expert analysis. NFL Network's MARSHALL FAULK and TERRELL DAVIS host the weekly five-minute show.
A closer look at the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week finalists:
• Denver's JAY CUTLER completed 36 of 50 passes for 350 yards and four touchdowns in the Broncos' 39 - 38 win over the San Diego Chargers. Cutler led an offense that gained a total 486 yards and controlled the ball for 34 minutes.
A few other notes on Cutler:
* - His 36 completions tied for the most in Broncos history and were the most by an NFL QB since Carson Palmer of the Cincinnati Bengals had 37 against Arizona on 11/13/07.
* - His 350 passing yards marked his second consecutive 300-yard game, making him one of two QBs (Tony Romo, Dallas) in the league to begin this year with two 300-yard games. He also is just the third Denver passer to begin a season in that fashion and first since John Elway in 1994. Cutler's 350 yards tied for the ninth-best single-game performance in club history.
* - Cutler's four touchdown passes are the most by an NFL QB in a game this year and tied his career high. He had three touchdown passes in the first half (along with 236 yards, the most by a Bronco in a half since 2004) against the Chargers, marking the most touchdowns by an AFC passer in half this year.
* - He completed 72.0 percent of his passes against the Chargers for the second-best completion percentage by an AFC passer in a game this year.
* - With a 109.6 passer rating, Cutler has now registered a passer rating of at least 100.0 in three consecutive games dating back to last season.
* - Cutler completed the game-winning two-point conversion pass attempt with 24 seconds left to play, making Denver the third team in NFL history to win a game in that fashion.
• Green Bay's AARON RODGERS completed 24 of 38 passes for 328 yards and three touchdowns in the Packers' 48 - 25 win over the Detroit Lions. Rodgers led an offense that had possession of the ball for more than 35 minutes and gained a total 447 yards.
• Arizona's KURT WARNER completed 19 of 24 passes for 361 yards and three touchdowns in the Cardinals' 31 - 10 win over the Miami Dolphins. Warner led the Cardinals to gain 445 total yards and controlled the ball for nearly 32 minutes.
A closer look at the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week finalists:
• Oakland's DARREN MC FADDEN carried the ball 21 times for 164 yards including a 19-yard touchdown in the Raiders' 23 - 8 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. McFadden helped the Raiders gain 300 rushing yards for their first win of the season.
• Pittsburgh's WILLIE PARKER posted his second consecutive 100-yard game in a hard-fought 10-6 Steelers road win over the Cleveland Browns. Parker rushed for 105 yards on 28 carries.
• Washington's CLINTON PORTIS rushed for 96 yards and two second-half touchdowns on 21 carries in the Redskins' 29 - 24 win over the New Orleans Saints.
Head coaches DICK JAURON of the Buffalo Bills, MIKE SHANAHAN of the Denver Broncos and JIM ZORN of the Washington Redskins are the nominees for MOTOROLA NFL COACH OF THE WEEK honors for games played September 15 - 16, the NFL announced today.
Fans can vote on NFL.com for the head coach whose game plan played the greatest role in his team's victory. Voting will take place from Tuesday morning through noon ET on Friday to determine the MOTOROLA NFL COACH OF THE WEEK. The winner will be announced Friday afternoon on NFL.com. In January, voting will be held on NFL.com to determine the MOTOROLA NFL COACH OF THE YEAR.
A closer look at the Motorola NFL Coach of the Week nominees:
• Head coach DICK JAURON led the Buffalo Bills to a 20-16 victory in Jacksonville despite being down by three points entering the fourth quarter. Trent Edwards led the Bills' effort and posted a passer rating of 119.8 in the process, completing 20 of 25 passes for 239 yards and one touchdown. The defense caused two turnovers to contribute to the win on the road, including one defensed pass by former Jaguars DT Marcus Stroud that CB Terrence McGee intercepted off Stroud's tip near the end zone to prevent a Jacksonville game-tying TD. With their second win, the Bills are now 2-0, a feat they last achieved in 2003.
• MIKE SHANAHAN led a Denver Broncos team that stunned the San Diego Chargers in a last-minute 39-38 victory. The Broncos offense gained a total 486 yards led by QB Jay Cutler who passed for a career-best 350 yards and four touchdowns. WR Brandon Marshall was Cutler's favorite target completing 18 receptions for 166 yards and one touchdown. With the Broncos down by one, following Cutler's final touchdown completion to rookie WR Eddie Royal, Shanahan went for the two-point conversion. Cutler hit Royal over the middle to seal the victory. The Broncos defense forced one turnover and limited the Chargers to just 80 rushing yards.
• In a come from behind victory, Washington Redskins rookie head coach JIM ZORN recorded his first win in the NFL with a 29-24 win over the New Orleans Saints. Redskins RB Clinton Portis rushed for 96 yards including two touchdowns and QB Jason Campbell completed 24 of 36 passes for 321 yards and one touchdown. Zorn made the decision to go for it on fourth-and-2 from the Saints' 32-yard-line with just under two minutes remaining allowing the Redskins to run down the clock. The Redskins offense controlled the ball for over 34 minutes and gained a total 455 yards. Washington's defense caused three turnovers, including two picks by rookie S Chris Horton and limited the Saints offense to only 55 yards on the ground.
Motorola's brand has become synonymous with NFL coaches through the coaches' headsets worn during every NFL game. As the wireless communications sponsor of the NFL, Motorola is working with the league to better integrate technology to improve the quality of the game, just as Motorola continuously provides better communications devices to help millions of NFL fans enjoy the game of football in their everyday lives.