Voters on NFL.com have made their choice. Cornerback ASANTE SAMUEL of the New England Patriots is the PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK for games played on September 21-22, the NFL announced today.
Samuel recorded two tackles, returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown and defensed two passes in the Patriots' 23-16 win over the New York Jets. His interception return-touchdown was the first interception and touchdown of his career and proved to be the winning score giving New England a 23-9 lead in the fourth quarter.
More than 29,000 fans voted this week on NFL.com. Samuel was selected from among five finalists. The other finalists were Arizona Cardinals wide receiver AQUAN BOLDIN, Houston Texans wide receiver ANDRE JOHNSON, Baltimore Ravens linebacker TERRELL SUGGS and Seattle Seahawks cornerback MARCUS TRUFANT.
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 XXXVIII in Houston.
This is Pepsi's second year as the official soft drink sponsor of the NFL.