Brees, Merriman capture week 11 honors

Quarterback Drew Brees of the San Diego Chargers won the FedEx Air NFL Player of the week and linebacker Shawne Merriman is the Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week.

Drew Brees threw for 339 yards on 28 of 33 passing, throwing four touchdown passes and recording a 149.1 passer rating in the Chargers' 48-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills. He threw touchdown passes of two, 23, 27 and 29 yards.

Brees was selected from among finalists through 44,720 fan votes on NFL.com. The other FedEx Express NFL Player of the Week finalists were quarterbacks Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts and Kurt Warner of the Arizona Cardinals.

Brees received 56 percent of the fan votes for FedEx Express NFL Player of the Week, while Manning received 31 percent and Warner received 14 percent.

Fans voted for more than their favorite players. The weekly FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week Awards are also a win for the local community. Along with the player awards, FedEx is awarding Children's Hospital Foundation and The Children's Hospital at the Cleveland Clinic, the children's hospital in each winning market, a check for $5,000.

The children's hospitals in the two season-long winner's markets, announced at this year's Super Bowl, will be awarded $25,000 each. That means that FedEx will deliver nearly $250,000 to local children's hospitals around the country in recognition of the FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week Award winners.

FedEx, the premier global provider of transportation, e-commerce and supply-chain management services, is the Official Delivery Service Sponsor of the NFL, Super Bowl and Pro Bowl. Through the weekly FedEx Air and Ground awards, FedEx recognizes those NFL players who represent the same speed, precision and teamwork that their customers have come to expect from the full range of FedEx air, ground, freight and international shipping services.

Shawne Merriman recorded four tackles and two sacks in the Chargers' 48-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills. He had sacks of minus-4 and minus-8 yards and now leads the team with seven sacks this season. Merriman ranks sixth on the team with 32 tackles.

More than 34,900 fans voted this week on NFL.com. Merriman was selected from among five finalists. The other finalists were running back Marion Barber of the Dallas Cowboys, wide receiver Braylon Edwards of the Cleveland Browns, quarterback Kyle Orton of the Chicago Bears and running back Carnell Williams of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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 throughout the month of January. The winner will be announced at a press conference at Super Bowl XL in Detroit.

This is Pepsi's fourth year as the official soft drink sponsor of the NFL and the first year that Diet Pepsi will present the NFL Rookie of the Week and NFL Rookie of the Year awards.


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