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NFL UNVEILS FEDEX AIR & GROUND® NFL PLAYERS OF THE YEAR CANDIDATES FOR FAN VOTING

January 07, 2014

FedEx Supports Future Business Leaders with $130,000 to Junior Achievement

Quarterbacks Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers, Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints, Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos are the finalists for the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Year honors, while running backs Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs, Matt Forté of the Chicago Bears and LeSean McCoy of the Philadelphia Eagles are the finalists for the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year, the NFL announced today.

During the weeks leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII, it’s simple for fans to cast their vote for 2013’s leaders at the quarterback and running back positions. Fans can submit their picks for each category on NFL.com/fedex until Friday, Jan. 24 to determine the FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Year. FedEx will announce the 2013 FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Year winners at the “3rd Annual NFL Honors” awards show in New York City, a two-hour primetime special to air nationally on February 1 on FOX the night before Super Bowl XLVIII.

FedEx will also make a $25,000 donation in each winning player’s name to Junior Achievement chapters in their city. The funding is used to help U.S. business development by educating the next generation of entrepreneurs on how to start and grow their own businesses.

This season, fans voted for more than their favorite player. As part of the FedEx Air & Ground NFL program and its commitment to business owners, FedEx supported Junior Achievement’s entrepreneurship education programs by making weekly $2,000 donations in each of the winning player’s names; a year-to-date overall donation of $130,000. In supporting both the Junior Achievement program and the FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Year program, Fedex strives to recognize leadership and success both on and off the field.

A closer look at the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Year finalists:

  • New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees became the first quarterback in NFL history with three consecutive 5,000-yard seasons and four career 5,000-yard seasons. He is also the first player in NFL history to pass for 20,000 yards in a four-year span (20,435). Brees has at least 30 touchdowns in six consecutive seasons, surpassing Brett Favre (five) for the longest such streak in NFL history. He climbed the all-time lists for career passing touchdowns and yards, and is now ranked fourth in touchdown passes (363) and fifth in passing yards (51,081). Brees was selected to the 2014 Pro Bowl and was one of seven NFL quarterbacks to have a passer rating of 100.0 of better (104.7). Brees was nominated for FedEx Air Player of the Week nine times, winning five.
  • Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning, one of the winningest quarterbacks in league history, led the Broncos (13-3) to the No. 1 seed in the AFC. He set the NFL’s single-season passing-yard record with 5,477 yards, surpassing Drew Brees’ mark of 5,476 yards in 2011, and finished the regular season with 55 touchdown passes, also the most in a season in NFL history. Manning is the first quarterback since Dan Marino in 1984 to set the record in both passing touchdowns and passing yards in the same season. Manning (64,964) surpassed Marino (61,361) for the second-most passing yards in NFL history. With 491 touchdown passes and 5,532 completions, Manning now trails only Brett Favre (508 TDs; 6,300 completions; 71,838 yards) in the three major career passing categories. Manning (115.1) was one of seven NFL quarterbacks to have a passer rating of 100.0 or better in 2013. Manning, who was selected to the 2014 Pro Bowl, was nominated for FedEx Air Player of the Week nine times, winning four.
  • San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers led the Chargers to a 9-7 record and a Wild Card berth in the AFC playoffs for the first time since 2009. Selected to the 2014 Pro Bowl, Rivers (105.5) was one of only seven quarterbacks with a passer rating of 100.0 or better in 2013. He became the sixth player in NFL history to register five 4,000 yard seasons. He ranked fourth in the league with 32 touchdown passes. Rivers was nominated for FedEx Air Player of the Week three times, winning once.

A closer look at the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year finalists:

  • Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs led the AFC in rushing for the second consecutive season. Charles had an NFL-best 19 total touchdowns (12 rushing, 7 receiving). He averaged 132 scrimmage yards per game in 2013, the best in AFC. Charles became the second player in NFL history to post 100+ scrimmage yards and a touchdown in each of his first seven games to begin a season. In Week 15, Charles became the first player in NFL history with four touchdown receptions and one rushing touchdown in a single game. His five total touchdowns tied for the fourth-most in a game in league history and were just one shy of the record. Charles, who was selected to the 2014 Pro Bowl, was nominated for FedEx Ground Player of the Week twice, winning once.
  • Matt Forté of the Chicago Bears finished second in the NFL this season with 1,339 rushing yards. He rushed for nine touchdowns and added three receiving scores to tie his career high of 12 total touchdowns. He added 594 yards on 74 receptions. Forté helped the Bears set a single-season franchise record with 6,109 total net yards in 2013. Forte, who was selected to the 2014 Pro Bowl, was nominated for FedEx Ground Player of the Week once.
  • LeSean McCoy of the Philadelphia Eagles won the league’s rushing title with 1,607 yards, and is the first Eagle to lead the league in rushing since Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Van Buren in 1949. McCoy also led NFL with 2,146 scrimmage yards, 79 rushing first downs and was second in the league with 102 overall first downs. McCoy rushed for 150+ yards in a franchise-high four games in 2013, while no other rusher in the NFL has done so more than once this season. He also holds an NFL record with seven-career fourth-quarter touchdown runs of 40-plus yards. Voted to his second Pro Bowl this season, McCoy was nominated for FedEx Ground Player of the Week four times, winning once.

As the Official Delivery Service Sponsor of the NFL, Super Bowl and Pro Bowl, FedEx is proud to sponsor the 11th annual FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Year Awards. The awards highlight the league’s leaders at the quarterback and running back positions, recognizing the players that consistently deliver the best results throughout the season.

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About FedEx Corp.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services.  With annual revenues of $45 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world's most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 300,000 team members to remain "absolutely, positively" focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit news.fedex.com.

JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT OF SAN DIEGO, INC. works locally to impact 52,000 students in K-12 classrooms in the 2013-2014 school year. Junior Achievement’s financial literacy programs take thousands of volunteers who lead classes and experiential programs. For more information on programs in San Diego and Imperial Counties, please visit www.jasandiego.org.