Anderson a rookie of the year finalist

Safety Marques Anderson is one of five finalists for the National Football League's Rookie of the Year award, the league announced today. The others include Houston quarterback David Carr, Cleveland running back William Green, Denver running back Clinton Portis and New York Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey.<p>

Fans can vote for one of these five players on NFL.com from Jan. 1 through Jan. 20 to determine the rookie of the year.

The winner will be presented with the award during a press conference in San Diego, the site of Super Bowl XXXVII, on Jan. 22.

The five finalists were chosen after tabulating this season's fan voting. Each week, five nominees were chosen and NFL fans voted for the winner on NFL.com. Anderson won three rookie of the week awards this season, including back-to-back awards for his peformances against the New England Patriots in Week 6 and Washington Redskins in Week 7. He also won the award for his Week 10 performance against the Detroit Lions. The Packers won all three of those games.

Anderson started 11 games for the 12-4 Packers, recording 41 tackles, ranking second on the team with four interceptions, returning two for touchdowns, and had seven passed defensed. He was the Packers sixth-leading (non-kicker) scorer and had an 11-tackle effort against New England in Week 6. He was nominated for the award four times.

Carr led the expansion Houston Texans to a 4-12 record, completing 52.5 percent of his passes for 2,592 yards and nine touchdowns. His 2,592 yards passing are the second-most ever by a rookie quarterback on an expansion team (Kerry Collins, 2,717 in 1995 with Carolina). Carr also rushed for 282 yards on 59 attempts for a 4.8-yard average and tied for a team high with three rushing touchdowns. He started every game despite being sacked an NFL record 74 times and was nominated three times for the Pepsi Rookie of the Week award.

Green rushed for a team-high 887 yards and six touchdowns on 243 carries, good for second-best in the NFL by a rookie running back. Green's play improved as the season progressed. He rushed for 726 yards over the final seven games, and capped off the season by rushing for a career-high 178 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries in Cleveland's playoff-clinching win over Atlanta in Week 17. Cleveland was 6-3 when Green started, 4-0 when he rushed for more than 95 yards, and 5-0 when he scored a touchdown. He was nominated for the Pepsi Rookie of the Week (including Week 17) three times, winning the award in Weeks 12 and 14.

Portis rushed for an NFL fourth-best 1,508 yards on 273 carries for an NFL-high 5.5 yard per carry average, while scoring an NFL third-best (non-kickers) 102 points on 17 touchdowns. His touchdown total ties for the third most ever by a rookie. His 1,508 yards rushing rank fifth all-time for an NFL rookie rusher behind Eric Dickerson, George Rogers, Ottis Anderson and Edgerrin James. Portis rushed for 15 scores and caught 33 passes for 364 yards and two touchdowns and also recorded an NFL sixth-best 1,872 yards from scrimmage. Denver was 6-2 when Portis rushed for 100 yards or more. His eight 100-yard efforts came in 12 starts. Portis rushed for an NFL season-high 228 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries in Denver's Week 17 win over Arizona. The 228 yards rank second on the Broncos' all-time single-game rushing record board. Portis was nominated nine times for Pepsi Rookie of the Week (including Week 17), winning the award in Week 15 and finishing second four times.

Shockey led all NFL tight ends with 74 receptions and 894 receiving yards, while breaking the New York Giants records in both receptions and receiving yards by a player in that position. Shockey also finished second all-time among rookie tight ends in both receptions (Keith Jackson, 81 in 1988) and receiving yards (Mike Ditka, 1,076 in 1961). Shockey was nominated five times for Pepsi Rookie of the Week (including Week 17), winning the award in Weeks 11 and 16.


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