Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.
What would an NFL season be without a good Brett Favre rumor?
Sports media is having a great time with recent comments made by Favre’s agent, Bus Cook. Speaking at an event earlier this week in Mobile, Ala., Cook told the audience that Favre, who will turn 44 in October, is coaching football at the local high school and is in “great shape.” He added:
“He could play (in the NFL) today, better than a lot of them out there today.”
Was this an innocent comment? Was it one meant to plant the seed in the minds of NFL fans across the country? Or, was it a calculated statement by Cook to generate some buzz and see what interest there might be from NFL teams looking to upgrade their quarterback play. I’ll let you decide which of these questions makes the most sense to you.
But for the record, how have 44-year-old (or older) quarterbacks done in the NFL? A quick scan of the files and we see that four different players have tossed a pass or two at age 44 or older.
Here’s a brief look at this quartet.
George Blanda: The poster child for aging quarterbacks in the NFL. Blanda, who also doubled as a Hall of Fame placekicker, played in the NFL from 1949-75, scoring 2,002. From age 44 until his retirement in January, 1976 at age 48, Blanda threw 80 passes for the Raiders, completing 39 of them. He threw six TD passes after the age of 44. He is the oldest player to make a pass attempt and have a pass completion in NFL history. He completed one pass in three attempts in a game on December 21, 1975 at age 48.
Warren Moon: Eight days after his 44th birthday, the Hall of Famer started at QB for the Kansas Chiefs versus the San Diego Chargers. The result was not a good one. The Chiefs lost 17-16. Moon completed only 12 of 31 passes for 130 yards and had one interception. It was his last career game.
Vinny Testaverde: Barely a month after turning 44, Testaverde got the start in three games for the Carolina Panthers in 2007. In those three games he completed 49 or 91 passes with four touchdowns and five interceptions. He played his last NFL game on December 30, 2007.
Will Favre join the above list?
From May 30 and every day until September 5… the start of the 2013 NFL season… Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ will publish “99 Stats Until Kickoff” a daily dose of NFL stats that will get you ready for the 2013 NFL season.)
Did you know that of the 1,369 touchdowns scored in the NFL in 2012 that almost 87 percent of those TDs were scored by players in their 20s?
Last season there were 1,369 touchdowns, 1,190 scored by players in their 20s and 179 scored by players in their 30s. The youngest player to score a TD last season was Denver’s Ronnie Hillman who scored a TD on November 11 at the age of 20. The oldest to score a TD in 2012? The recently-retired Donald Driver scored a touchdown for the Packers on October 28 at the age of 37 years, 269 days.
Following is a look at the number of TDs scored by each age group last season.
Going back in the history of the league, we find that there were four players who scored touchdowns at age 40 and above. Hall of Famer Jerry Rice scored 10 TDs while in his 40s. He is followed by Doug Flutie who scored four TDs in his 40s; Vinny Testaverde who scored three; and Warren Moon, who scored one.
Testaverde is the last player in his 40s to score a TD in the NFL. He did it on October 24, 2005 as a member of the New York Jets on a one-yard run. He was 41 years and 345 days.
The oldest player to score a TD in NFL history? Doug Flutie scored a TD on January 2, 2005 at the age of 42 years and 71 days. He beat out Jerry Rice, who scored his last TD in the NFL when he was 42 years and 67 days.
Rice does hold the record for oldest player to score a TD in the playoffs. Rice scored a TD on January 26, 2003 in the Super Bowl as a member of the Oakland Raiders. He was 40 years and 105 days old at the time.
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1. LaDainian Tomlinson has scored three overtime TDs in his career, tops in the NFL. Seven players have scored two overtime TDs: Michael Timpson, Jimmy Smith, John Jefferson, Santonio Holmes, Travis Henry, Mike Brown and Jerome Bettis.
2. Drew Bledsoe has thrown the most overtime TD passes, four. Terry Bradshaw is one behind Bledsoe with three. Five QBs have thrown two OT TD passes: Mark Brunell, Brett Favre, Dan Fouts, Warren Moon and Brian Sipe.
3. Of the 118 game-winning TDs in overtime, 61 have been scored by the home team, 57 by the visitors.
4. Tamarick Vanover is the youngest player to score an overtime touchdown. He scored on a punt return for Kansas City in a game in 1995. He was 21 years old. The oldest? Jimmy Smith scored an overtime touchdown for Jacksonville in 2005 at the age of 36. The youngest QB to throw a TD pass in overtime? Bledsoe at the age of 21. The oldest? Moon at the age of 38.
5. Fifty-six of the 118 overtime TDs have been passes. There have been 33 rushing touchdowns in OT. There have been 18 OT TDs scored via interception return for TD. The Cardinals Patrick Peterson returned a punt 99 yards for a TD in overtime last Sunday night in Arizona’s 19-13 win over St. Louis. It was only the second punt return to win a game in overtime in NFL history.
6. Where have the touchdowns in overtime been scored from on the field?
50 yards or more: 33
40-49 yards: 11
30-39 yards: 22
20-29 yards: 19
10-19 yards: 13
Under 10 yards: 20