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By what standard are the Patriots the youngest team to ever win the Super Bowl?

Miguel Benzan
Miguel Benzan on Twitter
7 years ago at 11:01 pm ET
Posted Under: overview

February 22  Update – There were 107 players that were once on the Patriots 2014 90-man roster or on the practice squad. Their average age as of December 31, 2014 is 25.2. While Pro Football Reference says that the average age is 25.2 they show on http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/nwe/2014.htm 69 players. The average age of the 69 listed players is 25.88. I have added a two table to the bottom of this blog. Using Pro Football Reference standard of including every player who was ever on the 90-man roster or on the practice squad the Patriots are the 2nd youngest team ever to win the Super Bowl.

Right after the Patriots defeated the Seahawks it was tweeted out that the Patriots were the youngest team ever to win the Super Bowl with an average age of 25.2 years. That number surprised me since I keep track of the Patriots ages and that number seemed low to me. Right after week 1 games the NFL released a report on the makeup of the team’s 53-man rosters. The NFL PDF had the Patriots average age as 25.79. Right before the Super Bowl ESPN.Com’s Mike Sando included this table in a January 27 piece about the Seahawks roster construction. Since the table was tweeted out later as a graphic I feel comfortable sharing it even though it came from an ESPN Insider piece. Super Bowl Roster Data

How does the average age go from 26.6 to 25.2 in a less than a week?

Here are the averages of the 53-man roster as of February 1, 2015, the day of the Super Bowl.

Player Age
Brady, Tom 37
Wilfork, Vince 33
Connolly, Dan 32
Gostkowski, Stephen 31
Ninkovich, Rob 31
Vollmer, Sebastian 30
Browner, Brandon 30
Branch, Alan 30
Revis, Darrelle 29
Amendola, Danny 29
Slater, Matt 29
Arrington, Kyle 28
Edelman, Julian 28
Lafell, Brandon 28
Wendell, Ryan 28
Blount, LeGarrette 28
McCourty, Devin 27
Chung, Patrick 27
Casillas, Jonathan 27
Devey, Jordan 27
Solder, Nate 26
Hoomanawanui, Michael 26
Cannon, Marcus 26
Aiken, Danny 26
White, Chris 26
Ebner, Nate 26
Develin, James 26
Vellano, Joe 26
Gronkowski, Rob 25
Vereen, Shane 25
Ayers, Akeem 25
Bolden, Brandon 25
Kline, Josh 25
Moore, Zach 25
Tyms, Brian 25
Fleming, Darius 25
Jones, Chandler 24
Hightower, Dont’a 24
Wilson, Tavon 24
Collins, Jamie 24
Harmon, Duron 24
Stork, Bryan 24
Allen, Ryan 24
Jones, Chris 24
Wright, Tim 24
Siliga, Sealver 24
Butler, Malcolm 24
Gray, Jonas 24
Ryan, Logan 23
Garoppolo, Jimmy 23
Boyce, Josh 23
White, James 22
Fleming, Cameron 22
Total 1398
Average 26.38

The average age for the 53 players was 26.38. The average active of the 46-man active roster was 26.65 as the 7 inactives (Tyms, Gray, Vellano, White, Moore, Devey, Boyce) were younger than the team average.

Here are the ages of the 10 Patriots who were on Injured Reserve the day of the Super Bowl

Mayo, Jerod 28
Easley, Dominique 22
Ridley, Stevan 26
Dobson, Aaron 23
Dennard, Alfonzo 25
Buchanan, Michael 24
Gordon, Cameron 23
Orton, Greg 28
Gaffney, Tyler 23
Morris, James 23
Total 245
Average 24.5
Total of 53+IR 1643
Average 26.08

As you can see, if you include the ages of the 10 players on Injured Reserve to the mix, the average age for the 63 players was 26.08.

Bequette, Jake 25
Boyce, Josh 23
Barker, Chris 24
Hauptmann, Caylin 23
Swanson, Dax 24
Krause, Jonathan 23
Skinner, Deontae 24
Green, Justin 23
Gilbert, Garrett 23
Total 212
Average 23.56
Total of 53+PS 1610
Average 25.97
Total of 53+PS+IR 1855
Average 25.76

As you can see, if you include the ages of the 9 Practice Squad players to the mix, the average age for the 72 players was 25.76.

This next table includes all 107 players that were once on the Patriots 90-man roster or on the practice squad at any time during the 2014 season. Their age is as of December 31, 2014.

Player DOB Age
Brady, Tom 8/3/1977 37
Wilfork, Vince 11/4/1981 33
Connolly, Dan 9/2/1982 32
Mankins, Logan 3/10/1982 32
Branch, Alan 12/29/1984 30
Browner, Brandon 8/2/1984 30
Gostkowski, Stephen 1/28/1984 30
Johnson, Antonio 12/8/1984 30
Ninkovich, Rob 2/1/1984 30
Vollmer, Sebastian 7/10/1984 30
Amendola, Danny 11/2/1985 29
Revis, Darrelle 7/14/1985 29
Slater, Matthew 9/9/1985 29
Arrington, Kyle 8/12/1986 28
Blount, LaGarrette 12/5/1986 28
Edelman, Julian 5/22/1986 28
Lafell, Brandon 11/4/1986 28
Mayo, Jerod 2/23/1986 28
Orton, Greg 12/17/1986 28
Wendell, Ryan 3/4/1986 28
Casillas, Jonathan 6/3/1987 27
Chung, Patrick 8/19/1987 27
McCourty, Devin 8/13/1987 27
Aiken, Danny 8/28/1988 26
Byham, Nate 6/26/1988 26
Cannon, Marcus 5/6/1988 26
Develin, James 7/23/1988 26
Devey, Jordan 1/11/1988 26
Ebner, Nate 12/14/1988 26
Hoomanawanui, Michael 7/4/1988 26
Maneri, Steve 3/20/1988 26
Solder, Nate 4/12/1988 26
Thompkins, Kenbrell 7/29/1988 26
Vellano, Joe 10/30/1988 26
Williams, D.J 9/10/1988 26
Ayers, Akeem 7/10/1989 25
Bass, Ben 10/12/1989 25
Bequette, Jake 2/21/1989 25
Cave, Braxston 7/29/1989 25
Dennard, Alfonzo 9/9/1989 25
Dunn, Reggie 1/5/1989 25
Fleming, Darius 7/19/1989 25
Gronkowski, Rob 5/14/1989 25
Kline, Josh 12/29/1989 25
Manumaleuna, Eathyn 1/18/1989 25
McCuller, Taylor 10/21/1989 25
Moore, Zach 10/17/1989 25
Ridley, Stevan 1/27/1989 25
Tyms, Brian 2/21/1989 25
Vereen, Shane 3/2/1989 25
Walker, Casey 12/6/1989 25
White, Chris 1/15/1989 25
Allen, Ryan 2/28/1990 24
Barker, Chris 8/3/1990 24
Beauharnais, Steve 5/2/1990 24
Bolden, Brandon 1/26/1990 24
Butler, Malcolm 3/2/1990 24
Collins, Jamie 5/2/1990 24
Davis, Ja’Gared 9/11/1990 24
Davis, Kanorris 1/21/1990 24
Gray, Jonas 6/27/1990 24
Hightower, Dont’a 3/12/1990 24
Johnson, Rufus 8/28/1990 24
Jones, Chandler 2/27/1990 24
Jones, Chris 7/12/1990 24
Jones, Don 5/24/1990 24
Lewis, Dion 9/27/1990 24
Lion, Dion 9/27/1990 24
Siliga, Sealver 4/26/1990 24
Skinner, Deontae 12/18/1990 24
Stork, Bryan 11/15/1990 24
Thomas, Jemea 4/7/1990 24
Tuipulotu, L.T. 8/3/1990 24
Van Hooser, Wilson 12/31/1990 24
Wilson, Tavon 3/19/1990 24
Worthy, Jerel 4/26/1990 24
Wright, Tim 4/24/1990 24
Boyce, Josh 5/6/1991 23
Buchanan, Michael 1/24/1991 23
Dobson, Aaron 6/3/1991 23
Gaffney, Tyler 4/20/1991 23
Garoppolo, Jimmy 11/2/1991 23
Gilbert, Garrett 7/1/1991 23
Gordon, Cameron 6/5/1991 23
Green, Justin 2/26/1991 23
Halapio, Jon 6/23/1991 23
Harmon, Duron 1/24/1991 23
Hauptmann, Caylin 7/10/1991 23
Hawkins, Travis 2/19/1991 23
Houston, Stephen 10/28/1991 23
Jones, Justin 9/25/1991 23
Martin, Eric 7/21/1991 23
McDonald, Tyler 5/9/1991 23
Morris, James 11/20/1991 23
Ott, Tyler 11/6/1991 23
Ryan, Logan 2/9/1991 23
Swanson, Daxton 3/21/1991 23
Watson, Asa 8/2/1991 23
Wiggins, Reese 5/5/1991 23
Easley, Dominique 2/22/1992 22
Epenesa,  Seali’i 3/25/1992 22
Finch, Roy 4/7/1992 22
Fleming, Cameron 9/4/1992 22
Krause, Jonathan 1/18/1992 22
Miller, Terrence 1/16/1992 22
Quarles, Kelcy 1/23/1992 22
White, James 2/23/1992 22
Average 25.21

This next table shows the 69 players listed on ProFootballReference’s roster page. Age is also as of December 31, 2014. ProFootballReference was not consistent in its treatment of practice squad players. It shows Cam Henderson who was on the practice squad for days but not Jake Bequette who was on the practice squad for the entire season. Nor does it make sense to include Antonio Johnson, Rufus Johnson, and Dion Lewis in their listing since they were signed for the 2015 season.

Player DOB Age
Aiken, Danny 8/28/1988 26
Allen, Ryan 2/28/1990 24
Amendola, Danny 11/2/1985 29
Arrington, Kyle 8/12/1986 28
Ayers, Akeem 7/10/1989 25
Blount, LaGarrette 12/5/1986 28
Bolden, Brandon 1/26/1990 24
Boyce, Josh 5/6/1991 23
Brady, Tom 8/3/1977 37
Branch, Alan 12/29/1984 30
Browner, Brandon 8/2/1984 30
Buchanan, Michael 1/24/1991 23
Butler, Malcolm 3/2/1990 24
Cannon, Marcus 5/6/1988 26
Casillas, Jonathan 6/3/1987 27
Chung, Patrick 8/19/1987 27
Collins, Jamie 5/2/1990 24
Connolly, Dan 9/2/1982 32
Dennard, Alfonzo 9/9/1989 25
Develin, James 7/23/1988 26
Devey, Jordan 1/11/1988 26
Dobson, Aaron 6/3/1991 23
Easley, Dominique 2/22/1992 22
Ebner, Nate 12/14/1988 26
Edelman, Julian 5/22/1986 28
Fleming, Cameron 9/4/1992 22
Fleming, Darius 7/19/1989 25
Gaffney, Tyler 4/20/1991 23
Garoppolo, Jimmy 11/2/1991 23
Gordon, Cameron 6/5/1991 23
Gostkowski, Stephen 1/28/1984 30
Gray, Jonas 6/27/1990 24
Gronkowski, Rob 5/14/1989 25
Harmon, Duron 1/24/1991 23
Hauptmann, Caylin 7/10/1991 23
Henderson, Cam 6/2/1990 24
Hightower, Dont’a 3/12/1990 24
Hoomanawanui, Michael 7/4/1988 26
Johnson, Antonio 12/8/1984 30
Johnson, Rufus 8/28/1990 24
Jones, Chandler 2/27/1990 24
Jones, Chris 7/12/1990 24
Kline, Josh 12/29/1989 25
Lafell, Brandon 11/4/1986 28
Lewis, Dion 9/27/1990 24
Maneri, Steve 3/20/1988 26
Mayo, Jerod 2/23/1986 28
McCourty, Devin 8/13/1987 27
Moore, Zach 10/17/1989 25
Morris, James 11/20/1991 23
Ninkovich, Rob 2/1/1984 30
Orton, Greg 12/17/1986 28
Revis, Darrelle 7/14/1985 29
Ridley, Stevan 1/27/1989 25
Ryan, Logan 2/9/1991 23
Siliga, Sealver 4/26/1990 24
Slater, Matthew 9/9/1985 29
Solder, Nate 4/12/1988 26
Stork, Bryan 11/15/1990 24
Tyms, Brian 2/21/1989 25
Vellano, Joe 10/30/1988 26
Vereen, Shane 3/2/1989 25
Vollmer, Sebastian 7/10/1984 30
Wendell, Ryan 3/4/1986 28
White, Chris 1/15/1989 25
White, James 2/23/1992 22
Wilfork, Vince 11/4/1981 33
Wilson, Tavon 3/19/1990 24
Wright, Tim 4/24/1990 24

Since I doubted that the 25.2 average age number is accurate, I then began to wonder if the resulting conclusion (Patriots were the youngest team to ever win the Super Bowl) was also suspect. So I researched the ages of the Seahawks on 2/2/2014 )the day of Super Bowl XLVIII.

Player Age
Clemons, Chris 32
Farwell, Heath 32
Ryan, Jon 32
Jackson, Tavaris 30
Robinson, Michael 30
McQuistan, Paul 30
Mebane, Brandon 29
Bryant, Red 29
McDaniel, Tony 29
Bennett, Michael 28
Hauschka, Steven 28
Davis, Kellen 28
Miller, Zach 28
Giacomini, Breno 28
Avril, Cliff 27
Unger, Max 27
Lynch, Marshawn 27
Gresham, Clint 27
Lockette, Ricardo 27
Maragod, Chris 27
McDonald, Clinton 27
Irvin, Bruce 26
JeanPierre, Lemuel 26
Thurmond, Walter 26
Okung, Russell 26
Morgan, Mike 26
Walters, Bryan 26
Schofield, O’Brien 26
Baldwin, Doug 25
Chancellor, Kam 25
Maxwell, Byron 25
Wilson, Russell 25
Harvin, Percy 25
Sherman, Richard 25
Tate, Golden 25
Shead, Deshawn 25
Thomas, Earl 24
Willson, Luke 24
Carpenter, James 24
Sweezy, J.R. 24
Wright, K.J. 24
Turbin, Robert 24
Smith, Malcolm 24
Wagner, Bobby 23
Kearse, Jermaine 23
Lane, Jeremy 23
Michael, Christine 23
Coleman, Derrick 23
Hauptmann, Caylin 22
Bailey, Alvin 22
Bowie, Michael 22
Hill, Jordan 22
Mayowa, Benson 22
Total 1377
Average 25.98

Comparing apples to apples (ages as of the day of the Super Bowl game) the Seahawks were the younger team. On 2/22 I learned that using the ProFootball Reference standard the 2013 Seahawks are the youngest team to ever win the Super Bowl and the Patriots the second youngest.

One thing DeflateGate has taught me is to question media reports and whenever possible research their claims on my own. In that vain, I will ask that you do not simply accept my numbers. I encourage you to verify them so I have included links to my sources below.

Sources: Super Bowl XLIX gamebook
Patriots roster


Posted Under: overview

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