In mid-January, the Wall Street Journal analyzed the actual amount of play time of the average football game. They added up the amount of time the ball was actually alive and in play in four different games, and it averaged out to about 11 minutes. They concluded that the average game broadcast on TV shows 17 minutes of replays and 67 minutes of players standing around. With the biggest game of the year coming up, I decided to do my own analysis of the actual play time.
Here are the results:
|Item||Total Time||Average Time||Total Plays|
|Total time in play||12 minutes 38 seconds||5 seconds||147 plays|
|During 1st quarter||3 minutes 10 seconds||5 seconds||38 plays|
|During 2nd quarter||3 minutes||5 seconds||36 plays|
|During 3rd quarter||3 minutes 7 seconds||5 seconds||33 plays|
|During 4th quarter||3 minutes 22 seconds||5 seconds||40 plays|
|Kickoffs||1 minute 34 seconds||10 seconds||10 kickoffs|
|Punts||32 seconds||8 seconds||4 punts|
|Run plays||2 minutes 40 seconds||4 seconds||37 plays|
|Pass plays||7 minutes 18 seconds||5 seconds||85 plays|
|Colts plays||5 minutes 54 seconds||5 seconds||71 plays|
|Saints plays||5 minutes 9 seconds||5 seconds||66 plays|
|Colts pass plays||4 minutes 3 seconds||5 seconds||46 plays|
|Colts run plays||1 minute 22 seconds||4 seconds||19 plays|
|Saints pass plays||3 minutes 15 seconds||5 seconds||39 plays|
|Saints run plays||1 minute 18 seconds||4 seconds||18 plays|
The longest play of the game was an 11 second Saints kickoff, and subsequent Colts run back, after the Saints first field goal in the second quarter.
The longest play from scrimmage was a 10+ second Colts pass that was intercepted by the Saints and run back for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
Additionally, the National Anthem took 1 minute 48 seconds.