Philly Voice’s Jimmy Kempski compiled the average age of offensive skill positions around the league and the New England Patriots rank 31st, thanks in part to quarterback Tom Brady who has a birthday in July and is expected to turn 73 years old.
Kempski chose the quarterback, the running back, the tight end, and the top three wide receivers on each team to determine the average offensive age.
I have a few hairs to split.
First, I think that a snap-weighted offense is a better method of determining positional ages because offenses will never, ever, ever have the same three wide receivers, one tight end, and one running back on the field for an entire season. The Patriots had an above-average snap-weighted offense in 2015, for the record.
Second, the Patriots are going to be different from most other teams in 2016 because of tight end Martellus Bennett. Few teams run multiple tight end sets as a base grouping but I would venture that the Patriots will expect Bennett to be on the field more than a #3 wide receiver. I consider this another point for “snap-weighted” evaluations.
Third, Kempski incorrectly ranks the Patriots skill players. I don’t expect him to know everything about every team and I wouldn’t be surprised if he used the OurLads depth charts- which is a reasonable thing to do.
But correcting the depth chart should change the math. Instead of 29-year-old LeGarrette Blount, who ranks as the 6th oldest running back in the rankings, we use the 25-year-old Dion Lewis. Instead of the nearly-33-year-old Nate Washington, who is the 3rd oldest receiver, we use the 27-year-old Chris Hogan.
So instead of having the 31st oldest offensive skill players in the NFL, you make a few slight adjustments and...hmmm. The Patriots new average age is 29.5 instead of 31 (Kempski averaged the rounded down ages of all the players) and the Patriots still rank 31st.
The Cardinals rank 30th with an average age of 29 and the Patriots remain older.
So, there you have it. The Patriots have the 2nd oldest skill players in the NFL, behind just the Ravens with Ancient Wonders of the World Steve Smith Sr. and Ben Watson dragging down their ages.