On the Decline with Reggie Wayne

reggiewayne Via: The 2012 Colts were very rookie-heavy, with one big exception.
Luck’s raw efficiency numbers were below average last year, although part of the explanation there was that he led the league in Air Yards per Completion. I suspect his numbers will look a lot better in year two. But Reggie Wayne led the NFL in targets last season and ranked 2nd to only Brandon Marshall in percentage of team targets. The Colts have a very young offense that’s extremely dependent on a wide receiver who turns 35 in November. And avert your eyes, Indianapolis fans. Only one player in NFL history ever gained more receiving yards at age 34: Wayne’s old running mate, Marvin Harrison, who was pretty much washed up after 34. …then again, perhaps the age concerns are overblown. I took a look at all wide receivers, ages 33-35, who gained 1,000 yards in a season and then played for the same team in Year N+1 (there were 45). I then compared how they did to a control group of receivers in their 20s who gained 1,000 receiving yards and then played in Year N+1 for the same team…Some decline is expected, but that’s typical regression to the mean decline and not “you’re too old to be good” decline. Even the yards per game drop wasn’t that bad, and it rises [from 55.5] to about 60 if you exclude the receivers [ages 33-35] who played in fewer than 8 games in Year N+1.

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