An NFL football game can last anywhere from 3 hours and 30 minutes to 4 hours. This is much shorter than a typical soccer match, which lasts around 2 hours and 20 minutes. The NFL is also the most-watched sport in America, whereas soccer usually does not surpass baseball in viewership. Despite the lack of attention that soccer has received over the past couple of decades, it still ranks incredibly high, with an average attendance of 67% at playoff games.
A football game lasts for a few different reasons. The most common sense is that the players on each team control the pace of the game. They can decide to run as many plays during a game as they want. They also have control over whether they want to try and score a touchdown or a field goal. At any point, they can take a knee and kick off the ball to start their next possession.
Players only need to hold onto the ball for about four seconds before they are allowed to move it forward or backwards. They can pass the ball as many times as they can during a drive, but only ten players can be on the field at once. If a player receives five fouls throughout the match, he is forced to sit out for the remainder of the game.
The referees will also play a massive role in dictating how long an NFL game lasts. They decide whether or not there was an interception or if the ball went out of bounds, which are instances that would restart play and add time onto a clock. The referees also decide whether the ball is placed correctly on the field before it is kicked. This becomes especially important during the first two minutes of a half when a team can elect to receive or kickoff. A team that chooses to kick off will restart play after receiving the ball. However, if they decide to accept, they will start with possession of the ball at their 20-yard line, and they will not begin a drive-by punting or kicking off.
Players are allowed to have one minute of practise time before the game begins. This is designed to prepare them for the endurance test that the final quarter will be. The teams do not have an advantage over each other, so they must use their time wisely. If a team does not make a substitution during a possession, they will automatically begin their next drive at their 25-yard line. Teams are also allowed to bring in an extra player for approximately 15 seconds at the end of every quarter, and there is no limit to how many players can be on the field at any given time. In general, each team has about 30 minutes worth of plays per half and 45 minutes worth of plays per game.
When it comes down to the end of the game, a team has a much better chance of winning if they have the ball with less than two minutes left on the clock. A field goal during this time will only add three points, which is not very significant once they make it to overtime. When less than two minutes remaining in a game, there is almost a 99% chance that the team that receives the ball will be losing.
If the score ends up tied after three quarters, then both teams have to go into overtime. This is sudden death, and it ends when one player scores or if time runs out before one player scores. The team that wins the coin toss at the start of overtime receives the ball. If they do not score a touchdown, then the opposing team will get the ball. They will also receive it if they tie with a field goal.
Many factors can decide how long an NFL game will last. The players, referees, and even coaches can all make or break whether or not a game comes to an end within three hours. This is much shorter than games played in other professional sports and is considered one of the most exciting aspects of football for some people. It is rare for any game to last four hours, but there have been some exceptions.
The longest NFL game in history was played on Christmas Day in 1971 and lasted 18 innings. This game took place between the Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs. The two teams had previously met in week 15 of the regular season, with Miami winning 28-24.
It ended up being a very controversial result, wildly since Kansas City's Len Dawson threw for over 400 yards and four touchdowns. The next time these two teams would meet was during the playoffs, and it was even more competitive than their first encounter.