# How To Watch An NFL Football Game

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## How To Watch An NFL Football Game

Whether it's the Super Bowl or a pre-season game, an NFL broadcast can confuse someone who's new to the sport. Learn what graphics networks use to explain the game and increase your football IQ.

### Step 1: The Yellow Line

During the game, a team needs to gain 10 yards to get a new first down. To help the viewing public, networks that broadcast the game use computers to digitally add that first down line onto your screen.

### Step 2: The Scoreboard

Networks add a long thin scoreboard running across the top or bottom of your screen. The first thing you'll notice is an abbreviation of each team's name and then how many points they've scored. Sometimes a network will add a yellow dot or football to indicate which team currently has the ball. Next to that is the situation such as 1st and 10 or 2nd and 6. Next to that is the time left in the game and an indicator as to which quarter it is. A football game is divided in into 4 quarters with each one lasting 15 minutes.

Sometimes there's another clock, the play clock. Each team has 40 seconds when the game is "paused" between the end of the last play and start the next play. If a team starts to run out of time, you'll see this second clock pop up. If a team fails to snap the ball in time, it's a 5 yard penalty. meaning that your 2nd & 6 turns into 2nd & 11.

### Step 3: Do The Math

Math and numbers are a big part of a football game. Here's a math trick to help you with understand how close the score is. If one team is up by 17 points on the other and you assume a touchdown is 7 points and a field goal is worth 3 points. Then the team that is losing will have to score at least 2 touchdowns and a field goal. That means they would have to score with the ball three times without giving up any more points just to tie the game.

### Step 4: Think For Yourself

There usually two people who announce a football game. A play-by-play announcer such as myself. And a color analyst who is usually an ex-football coach or player. While the play-by-play announcer recites what's happening on the field. Color analysts try and put the game in context. And sometimes, an announcer can be wrong. Don't always believe what they're saying.

Done.