Wide receiver Donnie Avery of the St. Louis Rams, quarterback Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens, cornerback Brandon Flowers of the Kansas City Chiefs, running back Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans and safety Kenny Phillips of the New York Giants are the finalists for DIET PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK honors for games played on October 26 - 27, the NFL announced today.
Fans can vote for one of these five players on NFL.com/rookies beginning Tuesday at 8am ET and ending on Friday at noon ET to determine the DIET PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK. The DIET PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK will be announced Friday afternoon on NFL.com/rookies.
In addition, for the fourth 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/rookies throughout the month of January. The winner will be announced at a press conference at Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa Bay.
A closer look at the finalists:
St. Louis' DONNIE AVERY led the Rams' receiving efforts with six catches for 163 yards including a 69-yard touchdown in St. Louis' 23 – 16 loss to the New England Patriots.
Baltimore's JOE FLACCO passed for 140 yards and one 70-yard touchdown in the Ravens' 29 – 10 win over the Oakland Raiders. Flacco added 43 yards receiving off a pass by backup QB Troy Smith and 23 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.
Kansas City's BRANDON FLOWERS recorded eight tackles and his first two career interceptions including one returned 91 yards for a touchdown in the Chiefs' 28 – 24 loss to the New York Jets.
Tennessee's CHRIS JOHNSON carried the ball 19 times for 77 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown in the Titans' 31 – 21 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football.
New York Giants' KENNY PHILLIPS posted three tackles and a fourth-quarter interception with just over a minute remaining to seal the Giants' 21 – 14 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
This is Pepsi's seventh year as the official soft drink sponsor of the NFL and the fourth year that Diet Pepsi will present the NFL Rookie of the Week and NFL Rookie of the Year awards.