Youth influx aside, Pats an older club

Mike Sando, who covers the NFC West for ESPN.com, keeps detailed records of each team's roster. That helps him add context to how a particular team stacks up against others in the NFL in various categories.

Within the last two weeks, Sando has tapped into his database for some age-based statistics.

He started by breaking down the NFL's 32 teams by age, and surprisingly, the Patriots came in as the sixth-oldest club (specialists not included). The Patriots' average age is currently 26.64.

With the team selecting 12 players in the 2009 draft, and another 12 in the 2010 draft, this New England team has a more youthful look than the past.

So why such a high ranking in the age category?

One reason is that while the Patriots have made 24 draft picks over the last two years, a handful of their core, top performers are over 30 -- Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Kevin Faulk, Matt Light, Stephen Neal etc. They've also added other 30-year-olds in Torry Holt, Damione Lewis, Gerard Warren and David Patten, among others.

So while the Patriots are a young team, it's not as if they are short on experience. It's also important to remember that the average age could change once the team cuts down to 53 players.

This is one of the tougher challenges for teams on a year-to-year basis: How to get younger and faster, but still have experience throughout key parts of the roster.

Sando later ranked the league's eight divisions by age, with the AFC East in the No. 4 spot (26.11 average age).