How Long Is The NFL Game?

How long is the average NFL game? The answer may surprise you.


The National Football League (NFL) is the top professional American football league in the United States. It was formed in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association (APFA) before renaming itself the National Football League for the 1922 season. The NFL agreed to merge with the American Football League (AFL) in 1966, and the first Super Bowl was held at the end of that season; the merger was completed in 1970. Today, the NFL has the highest average attendance (67,591) of any professional sports league in the world and is the most popular sports league in the United States.

Length of an NFL Game

The average length of an NFL game is three hours. This includes the time between plays, commercials, and half-time. The game itself is only about eleven minutes long. So, if you’re looking to get the most out of your football-viewing experience, you might want to start watching at least fifteen minutes before kickoff and stay until the final whistle.

Pre-game show

The pre-game show usually starts two hours before kickoff and runs for two hours. It features a host, usually a former NFL player, who previews the day’s games, interviews guests, and discusses various topics related to the NFL.

Commercial breaks

The average NFL game consists of 60 minutes of play time, but the actual length of a game can vary widely depending on things like how many times the ball changes hands, penalties, and television commercials.

On average, there are 11 minutes of commercials during an NFL broadcast. This includes both pre-game and halftime commercials, as well as sponsor messages that run during breaks in the action. In total, there are about 100 commercial breaks during an NFL game.

The length of an NFL game has been slowly creeping up in recent years, due in part to the increasing number of commercials. In 2011, the average NFL game was 3 hours and 7 minutes long, including commercials. This was up from 2 hours and 59 minutes in 2001.

Game action

While the overall length of an NFL game has increased since the league’s inception, the actual amount of time that the ball is in play has remained relatively constant. In 1920, the average NFL game lasted about 60 minutes, with about 48 minutes of actual game action. By contrast, the average game in 2006 lasted just over 3 hours, with only 11 minutes of action.

How the game has changed over time

The average NFL game has become longer over time. In the early days of the NFL, the average game time was around 48 minutes. Today, the average game time is closer to 3 hours. There are a number of reasons for this change. One reason is that the number of commercials has increased. Another reason is that the number of plays has increased.

Rule changes

In the beginning, the game was simple. Two teams of 11 players each tried to get the ball into their opponent’s end zone to score a touchdown. That was it.

Over time, however, the rules have changed to make the game more exciting, and at the same time, safer for the players. Now, there are two main ways to score points: touchdowns and field goals. In addition, there are special rules for kickoffs, punts, safeties and extra point attempts. The NFL has also implemented a number of rules to protect players from concussions and other serious injuries.

Here is a brief summary of some of the most important rule changes in NFL history:

1906: Introduction of the forward pass
1912: Penalty for a forward pass interference introduced
1915: Requirement for a touchdown to be worth six points instead of five
1932: Introduction of the field goal worth three points
1933: Legalization of the forward pass from anywhere behind the line of scrimmage
1945: Introduction of Monday Night Football
1974: Merger between AFL and NFL complete
1978: Introduction of instant replay
1991: Rules prohibiting head-slapping and using your helmet as a weapon introduced
2002: Creation of “Monday Night Football” doubleheader
2006: Regulation changes regarding overtime in regular season games introduced
2011: Lockout reduces season from 16 games to 9

New technologies

In recent years, the NFL has been experimenting with new technologies to improve the game for spectators. One of these is the use of tablets on sidelines to review plays and strategy. This has led to shorter games, as coaches have been able to make decisions more quickly.

Another change is the use of sensors in players’ pads to track their movements. This information is then used to improve player safety and create a better overall experience for fans. The data collected can also be used to improve officiating and make the game more fair.


In summary, an NFL game is sixty minutes long, but there are three distinct phases to the game. The first phase is the pre-game show, which typically lasts around two hours. The second phase is the actual game play, which lasts for four quarters of fifteen minutes each. Finally, there is a post-game show that typically lasts for one hour.

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