TYLER — Whitehouse alum turned Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott are among the finalists for the FedEx Air and Ground NFL Players of the year.
Mahomes, Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints) and Phillip Rivers (Los Angeles Chargers) are up for the 2018 FedEx Air NFL Player of the Year honor, while running backs Elliott, Todd Gurley (Los Angeles Rams) and Saquon Barkley (New York Giants) are the finalists for the 2018 FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year.
Starting Friday, January 4, through Thursday, January 31, at 3 p.m., fans can cast their vote for the one quarterback they feel had the year’s best air performance and the one running back with year's best ground performance. each category at nfl.com/fedex or via a Twitter poll on the @NFL official handle.
FedEx will announce the winners during the NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 2, the night before Super Bowl LIII, from 8-10 p.m. on CBS19.
A closer look at the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Year finalists:
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes led the NFL with 50 touchdown passes and joined Peyton Manning (55 touchdown passes in 2013) and Tom Brady (50 in 2007) as the only quarterbacks with at least 50 touchdown passes in a single season in NFL history. He ranked second in the NFL with a franchise-record 5,097 passing yards and became the seventh different player in NFL history with 5,000+ pass yards in a single season. In total, Mahomes had seven games with at least four touchdown passes this season, the second-most in a single season in league annals. A 2019 Pro Bowl selection, Mahomes led the Chiefs to a 12-4 record and the AFC’s No. 1 seed.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees led the NFL with a 115.7 passer rating and 74.4 completion percentage, the highest single-season completion percentage in NFL history. He passed for 3,992 yards with 32 touchdowns and five interceptions and became the third quarterback in league annals with at least 30 touchdown passes and five or fewer interceptions in a single season. A 2019 Pro Bowl selection, Brees led the Saints to a 13-3 record and the NFC’s No. 1 seed.
Los Angeles Charges quarterback Phillip Rivers passed for 4,308 yards in 2018 and joined Peyton Manning (14 seasons), Drew Brees (12) and Tom Brady (10) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with 10 seasons of at least 4,000 passing yards. Rivers threw at least two touchdown passes in each of the Chargers' first 12 games of the season and became the fourth quarterback in NFL history with two or more touchdown passes in each of his team’s first 12 games to start a season. A 2019 Pro Bowl selection, Rivers led the Chargers to a 12-4 record, the most wins by the team since 2009.
A closer look at the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year finalists:
Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley led the NFL with 21 scrimmage touchdowns (17 rushing, four receiving) and ranked fourth with 1,831 scrimmage yards. A 2019 Pro Bowl selection, Gurley scored at least one touchdown in each of the Rams’ first 10 games and became the fourth player in league history to score a touchdown in each of their team’s first 10 games of a season.
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott led the league with 1,434 rushing yards and had a career-high 2,001 scrimmage yards to become the fourth player in franchise history with 2,000+ scrimmage yards in a single season. A 2019 Pro Bowl selection, Elliott is the fourth player in league history to record at least 1,900 scrimmage yards in two of his first three NFL seasons.
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley led the NFL with 2,028 scrimmage yards and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (2,212 scrimmage yards in 1983) and Edgerrin James (2,139 in 1999) as the only rookies with at least 2,000 scrimmage yards in NFL history. A 2019 Pro Bowl selection, Barkley ranked second in rushing yards (1,307) and had 91 receptions in 2018, the most by a rookie running back in NFL history.