Reed up for Rookie of the Week

Bills wide receiver Josh Reed, linebacker Ben Leber of the San Diego Chargers, defensive end Julius Peppers of the Carolina Panthers, tight end Jeremy Shockey of the New York Giants and wide receiver Donte Stallworth of the New Orleans Saints are the finalists for Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week honors for games played on September 15-16, the NFL announced today.

Fans can vote for one of these five players on NFL.com from Tuesday morning through Wednesday afternoon to determine the PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK.  The PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK will be announced Thursday on NFL.com.  It is the first weekly NFL honor to be selected solely by NFL fans.

After the regular season, five players will be nominated for Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year honors.  Fans can vote for the winner on NFL.com throughout the month of January.  The winner will be announced at a press conference at Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego.

A closer look at the finalists:

* Buffalo's Josh Reed scored his first career touchdown and recorded his first career 100-yard receiving day in the Bills' 45-39 overtime win at Minnesota, finishing with 8 catches for 110 yards.  His nine-yard scoring catch came in the second quarter and tied the game at 13.  Reed also had a key eight-yard reception on the final drive of regulation as he helped the Bills move into position for the game-tying field goal.  His 110 yards receiving were the most by a Bills rookie since Chris Burkett's 127 on Dec. 8, 1985 (against the N.Y. Jets).

* San Diego's Ben Leber recorded five tackles, three sacks and one forced fumble in the Chargers' 24-3 win over Houston. Leber's last sack came early in the fourth quarter resulting in a fumble San Diego recovered in the end zone for the only touchdown of the second half.  Leber leads the NFL with four sacks.

* Carolina's Julius Peppers had five tackles, three sacks, one pass defensed and one forced fumble in the Panthers' 31-7 win over Detroit.  Peppers' three sacks - all recorded in the first half - tie him for the most sacks recorded by a Panthers player in a game.  He played a key role in a defensive effort that limited Detroit to seven points and 122 yards of offense, the second-lowest total in team history.

* New York's Jeremy Shockey scored his first career touchdown and caught four passes for 50 yards in the Giants' 26-21 win over St. Louis.  Shockey's 28-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter gave the Giants a 10-0 lead and capped an eight-play, 75-yard drive.  He also had a nine-yard reception on the drive.

* New Orleans' Donte Stallworth had four receptions for 59 yards and one touchdown in the Saints' 35-20 win over Green Bay.  Stallworth leads all NFC rookies with eight catches.


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