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Median Age of Defensive Interceptions

Good instagram post by Tony Khan yesterday: Since 2001, there have been more interceptions made by defensive players aged 26 than by players of any other age.

That was true for this past season, too, where 70 of the interceptions came from players that were 26 years old in 2016. Perhaps more interesting: the median age for interceptions, by defenders, was 26 years. What do I mean by that?

Well, 2% of all interceptions in 2016 came from players 21 years of younger; 7% came from players 22 or younger, 14% from 23 years or younger, 28% from 24 or younger, 39% from age 25 or younger, and 56% from age 26 or younger. So if you sort all interceptions by the (ascending) age of the defender, you need to go up to age 26 to cross the 50% mark.

I looked at the September 1st age of every player who recorded an interception in each year from 1940 to 2015 (I haven’t updated by database for 2016 just yet). The graph below charts the median 9/1 age in each season (i.e., what is the youngest 9/1 age you need to use to make sure you capture at least 50% of all interceptions from player that age and younger):

What do you think? And if I was to run this study for say, sacks, how do you think it would compare?

  • And for the data wonks out there….

    Year Age
    2015 26.7
    2014 26.3
    2013 26.4
    2012 26.5
    2011 26.7
    2010 26.7
    2009 26.3
    2008 26.5
    2007 26.5
    2006 26.5
    2005 27.1
    2004 26.2
    2003 26.8
    2002 27.0
    2001 27.0
    2000 27.0
    1999 26.4
    1998 27.2
    1997 27.0
    1996 26.9
    1995 26.7
    1994 26.7
    1993 27.0
    1992 26.9
    1991 26.7
    1990 26.8
    1989 26.1
    1988 26.3
    1987 25.8
    1986 26.1
    1985 26.1
    1984 25.8
    1983 25.5
    1982 26.5
    1981 26.0
    1980 26.3
    1979 26.0
    1978 26.0
    1977 26.3
    1976 26.0
    1975 26.7
    1974 26.0
    1973 26.2
    1972 25.8
    1971 26.8
    1970 27.1
    1969 26.3
    1968 26.5
    1967 26.5
    1966 26.6
    1965 26.1
    1964 25.5
    1963 25.7
    1962 25.3
    1961 25.3
    1960 25.5
    1959 26.4
    1958 26.6
    1957 26.8
    1956 26.5
    1955 25.7
    1954 25.9
    1953 26.2
    1952 25.5
    1951 25.8
    1950 26.3
    1949 26.0
    1948 26.6
    1947 26.8
    1946 26.6
    1945 27.3
    1944 26.5
    1943 26.4
    1942 25.6
    1941 24.5
    1940 24.5