BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots are ready to come home, but they certainly enjoyed their business trip to Mexico City.
The Pats will fly back to New England a happy bunch, now 8-2 on the season and winners of six straight following their 33-8 drubbing of the Oakland Raiders in Mexico City. They did just about everything right for the second straight week, and treated international football fans to quite the show on Sunday.
But this road victory was truly unique. Even with the stadium mostly empty as the Patriots and Raiders hit the field for their pregame warmups, the crowd at Estadio Azteca was loud and ready to go. The Raiders may have been the home team for Sunday’s contest, but the crowd remained electric as the Patriots piled up the points on the scoreboard.
“They were on top of their game,” tight end Rob Gronkowski said of the fans. “It was just a fiesta all over the field.”
“This atmosphere was awesome,” safety Devin McCourty said. “The crowd was crazy. We knew when it came game time they’d be into it. They gave it for four quarters. We definitely appreciate the fans coming out today.”
“It was definitely a great experience,” said running back Dion Lewis, who got the fans going with a 15-yard touchdown in the first quarter. “The fans were very passionate and it was pretty cool to play in a soccer stadium. It got pretty loud and the fans got into it.”
Tom Brady said he enjoyed his time in Mexico City, including the beautiful view from his hotel room and the experience of playing in such a historic stadium. The in-game experience further added to his newfound love of the city.
“It was a privilege for us to be here and play in front of those fans,” Brady said after torching the Raiders for 339 yards and three touchdowns. “It was a great experience.”
Brady was met with a mix of boos and “Brady!” chants when he first took the field before the game. Those chants shifted more to just his name as the contest continued, surprising the quarterback who often hears lots of dislike from opposing fans. Brady is now 3-0 in New England’s games outside of the United States, adding Sunday’s win to a pair of victories over in London.
“These trips all come down to whether you win or lose,” he said. “You remember when you win. If you lose you want to forget as fast as you can.”
Brady, who had never been to Mexico City before this weekend, said he would definitely be returning in the future.
Many of his teammates feel the same way, but they’ll be happy to be back home after spending over a week on the road. Bill Belichick explained it as a three-leg trip, first starting in Denver for last Sunday’s prime time game, followed by a stay at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs to get used to the high altitude that awaited them in Mexico City.
The Patriots couldn’t be more grateful for the hospitality that awaited them at each stop. Bill Belichick took the podium after Sunday’s win in an Air Force sweatshirt.
“I’ll always be a Navy man, but I want to give a shout out and a big thanks to [Lt.] General [Jay] Silveria and his great staff at the United States Air Force Academy for the hospitality and the week that we had there,” said Belichick, before praising his team for their work over the last week-plus. “We really asked a lot of the players, our organization, and they all delivered. We had a great nine days and we really got better as a football team.”
The Patriots will get to spend Thanksgiving week at home before playing host to the Miami Dolphins next Sunday. But after that one-week return to Gillette Stadium, they’ll hit the road for three more road games in Buffalo, Miami and Pittsburgh.
But if we’ve learned anything from these Patriots, now winners of 12 straight on the road, they can win football games just about anywhere.