FedEx Air & Ground NFL Player of the Year awards are a culmination of weekly awards presented by FedEx throughout the NFL season that give football fans the ability to honor stand-out quarterback and running back performances each week while earning charitable donations for the winning players' cities.
FEDEX AIR -- QUARTERBACK NOMINEES
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
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.
Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
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.
Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
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.
FEDEX GROUND -- RUNNING BACK NOMINEES
Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
Charles 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 Forte, Chicago Bears
Forte 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, Philadelphia Eagles
McCoy 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.