The National Football League today announced the five finalists for the 2012 PEPSI MAX NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR award.
|ROBERT GRIFFIN III||Quarterback||Washington Redskins|
|ANDREW LUCK||Quarterback||Indianapolis Colts|
|DOUG MARTIN||Running Back||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|ALFRED MORRIS||Running Back||Washington Redskins|
|RUSSELL WILSON||Quarterback||Seattle Seahawks|
Fans can vote for one of these five players on www.nfl.com/rookies through 9:00 PM EST on Tuesday, January 29 to determine the winner.
The 2012 PEPSI MAX NFL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR award will be announced in New Orleans, the site of Super Bowl XLVII, at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on February 2, 9-11 p.m. EST on CBS. The five finalists were selected for their outstanding performances throughout the 2012 NFL season. Each week, five nominees were chosen for the Pepsi MAX NFL Rookie of the Week and NFL fans voted for the winner on NFL.com. Those results were used to help determine the finalists.
A closer look at the finalists:
- ROBERT GRIFFIN III (Washington Redskins) – Griffin, who hails from Baylor University, played an enormous role in the Washington Redskins success this season, leading his team to a 10-6 record and the NFC East division crown. Griffin finished the regular season throwing for 3,200 yards, 20 touchdowns and a 102.4 passer rating. He also rushed for seven touchdowns and 815 yards, breaking the previous record held by CAM NEWTON (2011) of the Carolina Panthers for most rushing yards by a rookie quarterback in NFL history. Griffin, who was selected to the 2013 Pro Bowl, also became the first player in NFL history with at least four 60+ yard touchdown passes and a 60+ yard rushing touchdown in a season. In Week 11, Griffin’s 158.3 passer rating became the highest mark (min.15 attempts) by a rookie quarterback. Griffin was nominated for Pepsi MAX NFL Rookie of the Week seven times, winning six times.
- ANDREW LUCK (Indianapolis Colts) – The first pick overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, Luck directed the Indianapolis Colts to an 11-5 record, completing a remarkable turnaround in which the Colts had won just two games the season before. Luck amassed a record-breaking 4,374 passing yards topping the previous mark held by Newton (4,051). He also became the first rookie in NFL history with 4,000+ passing yards and ten victories. Luck started all 16 games for the Colts, engineering seven game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime which tied the record for most by a starting quarterback in a single season since at least 1970. His six 300-yard passing games ranks most all-time by a rookie. The former Stanford Cardinal was nominated for Pepsi MAX NFL Rookie of the Week nine times, winning three times.
- DOUG MARTIN (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – Martin broke onto the scene with several impressive performances throughout the 2012 regular season. In a Week 9 contest against the Oakland Raiders, Martin erupted rushing for 251 yards and four touchdowns. He finished the season fifth in the NFL in rushing with 1,454 yards and scored 11 touchdowns on the ground. His 1,926 yards from scrimmage trails only running backs ERIC DICKERSON and EDGERRIN JAMES for the most ever by a rookie. Martin, who was drafted 31st overall out of Boise State, was a candidate for Pepsi MAX NFL Rookie of the Week five times, winning the award once.
- ALFRED MORRIS (Washington Redskins) – The 173rd pick overall in the 2012 NFL Draft out of Florida Atlantic, Morris led all rookie running backs in yardage. He finished the season with a franchise record 1,613 yards, second-most in the NFL among all running backs and third-most all-time by a rookie behind Dickerson (1,808) and GEORGE ROGERSc(1,674). Morris also accounted for 13 touchdowns helping push the Redskins into the playoffs for the first time since 2007. He was nominated for Pepsi MAX NFL Rookie of the Week five times, winning three times.
- RUSSELL WILSON (Seattle Seahawks) – Selected in the third round out of Wisconsin, Wilson caught the eye of head coach PETE CARROLL and Seahawks fans alike for his proficient play in the preseason, thus propelling him into the starting role for all 16 regular season games. Relying on his arm and legs, Wilson led the Seahawks to 11 wins and back into the playoffs. He finished the season throwing for 3,118 yards, 26 touchdowns and a 100.0 passer rating which was fourth best in the NFL. Wilson’s 26 touchdown passes tied the NFL’s single season record by a rookie set in 1998 by PEYTON MANNING. The Seahawks finished the year 8-0 at home which established Wilson as the first rookie quarterback in the Super Bowl era to lead his team to an undefeated home record. He was nominated for Pepsi MAX NFL Rookie of the Week eight times, winning the award once.
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