On Sunday, the Patriots and Raiders will square off in the 30th game of the international series. The Patriots will be playing their third game outside of the United States and the Raiders will be in Mexico City for the second consecutive season. Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, has admittedly never been to Mexico City and is excited about the opportunity to play against a good opponent.
“When the schedule comes out and you kind of figure out where you’re playing, this is the kind of game you look forward to, playing against a really good football team in a pretty cool environment,” said Brady. “So, it will be very memorable. I think everyone’s excited. It’s been a fun week to prepare, and we’ve still got a couple days left. Hopefully, we can use it wisely.”
“They [fans in Mexico City] were pretty into it last year,” Brady added on the football atmosphere in Mexico. “I remember watching it and watched a little bit this week just to kind of get a feel for the atmosphere. They’re cheering loud the whole game, and it seems like there’s a lot of Raiders fans.”
In preparation for playing in Mexico City (the city sits 7,382 feet above sea level), the Patriots stayed on the road after their game in Denver (5,280 feet above sea level) and trained at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs (6,035 feet above sea level). The trip was similar to a week-long trip spent in San Diego in 2014 that helped galvanize a team and help them grow together.
“It’s been great,” said Brady on the week in Colorado Springs. “It’s been a lot of fun. It’s been a great time – couldn’t be any better. So, it’s a really beautiful place and a unique setting. We got here early Monday morning and it’s really been a lot of fun.”
Riding a five-game winning streak, the Patriots are beginning to hit their stride. Brady is right in the conversation for league MVP with the youngster, Carson Wentz of the Eagles. The Patriots have continued to face and conquer the adversity they have faced all season and have begun to come together as a team. As we approach Thanksgiving, this is the time of the year that teams show who they truly are.
“After eight, nine weeks, you start to kind of figure those things out,” Brady said. “Now, we’ve got to work hard at those things and try to really own them and use them going forward to try to win the most important games.”
The Raiders defense do not necessarily represent a huge challenge for the Patriots offense as they will not be able to slow them down for long stretches of time. Despite once again being without Chris Hogan for the third week. Coming off his third offensive player of the week award, Brady remains focussed on the task at hand and, of course, the bigger picture.
“We have a lot of important games coming up,” said Brady. “Starting with this one. So hopefully we can play our best football going forward.”
– Ian Glendon is the National Editor for cover32 and the Managing Editor for cover32/Patriots. He covers the NFL and New England Patriots. Like and follow on Follow @iglen31 Follow @cover32_NE and Facebook.