The repeated delays in the post-whistle decision-making and administration by the replacement officials is creating, not surprisingly, a delay in the completion of the games.
Review of the official online Game Books posted by the NFL for the 15 preseason games played in Week Two of the 2012 preseason generates an average game length of three minutes and 13 seconds. According to the league office, the average length of a regular-season game in 2011 was three hours, six minutes, and five seconds.
The most glaring nugget is that six of the 15 games consumed at least three hours and 23 minutes, with two games (Dolphins-Panthers and Redskins-Bears) taking three hours and 29 minutes to complete.
In fairness, six games came in under the 2011 regular-season average. Still, the 15 games played through Sunday night took, on average, seven minutes more than the average regular-season game in 2011.
It’s not enough of a sample to be scientific, but it’s enough to show that the crews working these games need to make their bad decisions more quickly.