The end of the NFL regular season means it’s time for deserving players to earn legacy-building accolades.
The FedEx Air & Ground Player of the Year awards are annual fan-voted awards given to one of the league’s top quarterbacks and running backs. Past winners include legends like Brett Favre, Peyton Manning and LaDainian Tomlinson. This season, the QB nominees include Matt Ryan, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, and the RB nominees include Ezekiel Elliott, David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell.
We talked to Eddie George, Heisman trophy winner and four-time Pro Bowl running back, and asked him who he thinks will walk away with the hardware. Among the quarterbacks, George loves how Matt Ryan has blossomed this season.
“I think Matt Ryan is the guy right now. He’s playing out of his mind right now, and I think he could possibly be the league MVP,” George said. It’s hard to argue with him. “Matty Ice” had by far the best statistical season of his 9-year NFL career. He tossed 38 touchdowns and just 7 interceptions while averaging a league-best 9.26 yards per attempt. His 117.1 passer rating is head and shoulders above any other quarterback’s, including Tom Brady.
As for the running backs, George really likes his fellow former Ohio State Buckeye Ezekiel Elliott. “I think it’s Ezekiel Elliott because of the season he had. Over 1,600 yards, he almost broke Eric Dickerson’s rookie rushing record. He’s just a phenomenal player,” George said. “Le’Veon Bell is also so versatile, he had over 1,200 rushing yards and over 600 receiving yards. David Johnson is another all-around running back, as well.”
Fans can submit their votes at NFL.com/FedEx through February 2. You can also vote on Twitter by using the hashtag #AirAndGround and the nominee’s last name. It’s all for a good cause, too—FedEx will donate $50,000 to the USO in the name of both the winning QB and RB to support programs that help service members transition into civilian life.
“Fifty thousand dollars in the name of both the winning QB and RB, and it will support programs that help our servicemen and women transition to civilian life. I think that transition is very difficult. It’s something that has been underserved prior to this year and FedEx being involved. It’s a good thing across the board,” George said.
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