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Games are taking longer this year

referee01

Perhaps Jon Gruden was on to something when he complained that all the reviews of scoring plays would delay games this year.

NFL games are taking two minutes and 28 seconds longer this year so far compared to the average of the 2010 season. It’s “only” one minute and 29 seconds longer than the first seven weeks of last year.

The average game now takes three hours, six minutes, and 58 seconds. (In fairness, that’s three hours less than the average Yankees-Red Sox game.)

There are a lot of theories about why games are taking longer. The simplest reason: Scoring is up. That sounds about right.

There have been more plays reviewed this year, but the number isn’t a huge jump. Through Week 7 this season, there were 164 replay reviews, up from 152 last year. The average time per-review has actually decreased 13 seconds, from 2:40 to 2:27.