Will a 25-year-old QB win the Super Bowl XLVII MVP?

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Joe Montana on the set of an ESPN broadcast.

Joe Montana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the 46-year history of the Super Bowl, we have had 47 players (there were co-MVPs in 1978) who were selected as the MVP of the game. Joe Montana, quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers won three of those awards, most in the game’s history. Four other players won the award twice: Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw, Tom Brady and Eli Manning, all QBs.

As we take a look at the list of Super Bowl MVPs, several interesting stats evolve:

First, quarterbacks seem to be the primary focus of the Super Bowl MVP award. Of the 47 MVPs, 25 have been QBs. Here’s a position look at the MVPs.

Super Bowl MVP Awards, position, (average age of those MVPs)
25: Quarterbacks (30.0)
8: Defensive players (26.6)
7: Running backs (27.0)
6: Wide receivers (26.5)
1: Kick returners (26.0)

Secondly, we notice that when it comes to the age of the player named the game’s MVP, most are in their 20’s. In fact, of the 47 MVPs, 29 were in their 20’s, 18 were in their 30’s. Here’s a look at the number of MVPs within each age. The age with the most MVPs is 25 with seven.

Age, Super Bowl MVP Awards
Age 23: Two
Age 24: Five
Age 25: Seven
Age 26: Five
Age 27: Five
Age 28: Two
Age 29: Three
Age 30: Two
Age 31: Three
Age 32: Four
Age 33: Four
Age 34: Four
Age 38: One

* The oldest Super Bowl MVP was Denver’s John Elway in 1999. He was 38 years old.

* The youngest Super Bowl MVP was Raiders running back Marcus Allen who was 23. Pittsburgh receiver Lynn Swann was also 23 when he won his Super Bowl MVP in 1976, but Allen beat him by 15 days; Allen was 23 and 302 days, Swann was 23 and 317 days.

* Of the 18 players who were in their 30’s when they won the Super Bowl MVP, 14 of them were quarterbacks.

* Dallas’ Randy White, who shared MVP honors with teammate Harvey Martin in the 1978 game, is the only MVP to win his award on his birthday. He won his MVP on his 25th birthday.

* So… it appears that QBs are the most likely MVP, and those players who are age 25 have received the most Super Bowl MVPs. We do have a 25-year-old QB playing in this year’s Super Bowl: San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick. Is he destined for this year’s award? Plus, Montana won the first of his three Super Bowl MVPs as a 25-year-old QB with the 49ers!

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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