What Was The Shortest Football Game Ever Played? The Fastest Ending NFL Games Throughout History

Shortest Football Game
Shortest Football Game

The NFL is known for its lengthy games that keep fans glued to their couches for hours on end. On some rare occasions though, games have ended in no time at all. Read on as we at SportsLens reveal the top five shortest football games ever played.

What Was The Shortest Football Game Ever Played?

An NFL game typically lasts just over three hours on average, however this number can fluctuate due to a variety of different factors. While some matches have surpassed the four hour mark, others have ended in fewer than three hours.

Back in September 2018, the record for the longest NFL game in history was broken with the Tennessee Titans’ clash against the Miami Dolphins lasting a whopping seven hours and eight minutes, cruising past the previous record of five hours and 16 minutes, which was held by the Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears for their November 2013 faceoff.

A 1971 Divisional playoff match between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs holds the record for the longest in-play time in an NFL game, lasting a total of 82 minutes and 40 seconds after double overtime.

But what about the other side of the spectrum? There have been plenty of games that have gone under the three hour mark, with some even lasting less than two hours and 45 minutes. Only once has there been a game that has fallen short of the two hour and 30 minute mark though, which came in November 1996 as the San Diego Chargers faced the Indianapolis Colts.

The Top Five Shortest NFL Games In History

As previously mentioned, the shortest game in NFL history came at the beginning of November 1996, where the San Diego Chargers overcame the Indianapolis Colts via a 26-19 scoreline, with game ending after a mere two hours and 29 minutes.

Despite the match being the shortest in our top five list, it is also the highest scoring of the five. The Colts seemingly have a knack for these short fixtures too, as their 23-0 win over the Tennessee Titans back in 2008 comes in at second in our list after the game lasted two hours and 33 minutes.

See below for the full top five list of the shortest football games ever played in the NFL!

Rank Date Game Time
1 November 3, 1996 San Diego Chargers 26-19 Indianapolis Colts 2 hours 29 minutes
2 December 28, 2008 Tennessee Titans 0-23 Indianapolis Colts 2 hours 33 minutes
3 December 16, 2007 Atlanta Falcons 3-37 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2 hours 34 minutes
4 September 11, 2005 Tennessee Titans 7-34 Pittsburgh Steelers 2 hours 35 minutes
5 November 27, 2007 Miami Dolphins 0-3 Pittsburgh Steelers 2 hours 35 minutes

Interested in the lowest scoring affairs in the NFL? Follow the link for our full list of the lowest scoring NFL games throughout history.

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