Scoring TDs Is A Young Man's Job
By Jerry Tapp
Did you know that of the 1,393 touchdowns scored in the NFL in 2013 that 86 percent of those TDs were scored by players in their 20s?
Last season there were 1,393 touchdowns, 1,198 scored by players in their 20s and 195 scored by players in their 30s. The youngest player to score a TD last season was Houston's DeAndre Hopkins who was 21 years and 101 days when he caught an overtime TD pass from Matt Schaub. The oldest to score a TD in 2013? The recently-retired Tony Gonzalez who was 37 years and 299 days when he caught a TD pass for the Atlanta Falcons.
A closer look at the age of players who scored TDs in the 2013 NFL season showed that over 60 percent were scored by players under the age of 27. This year the most TDs were scored by players age 26 (223). Last season most of the touchdowns were scored by players age 25 (203).
Following is a look at the number of TDs scored by each age group last season.
Of all the players age 30 and older, Wes Welker had the most TDs with 11.
The 2013 playoffs saw 46 TDs scored with nine by players 30 years old and older and 37 (80% scored by players in their 20s. San Diego receiver Keenan Allen was the youngest player to score a TD in this year's playoffs... he was 21 years and 260 days. New England QB Tom Brady was the oldest player to score a playoff TD this year at age 36 and 169 days.
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.