BOSTON (CBS) — For a brief moment on Tuesday, it appeared as though the Patriots would be penciling in a trip to Mexico City in the 2020 season. A few moments later, that appeared to not be the case.
Fox Sports Mexico’s Ricardo García Ochoa reported that the Patriots will face the Dolphins in Mexico City during the 2020 regular season.
— FOX Sports MX (@FOXSportsMX) January 28, 2020
However, Ben Volin of The Boston Globe asked the league to confirm, and the NFL did not do so. Instead, Volin said that an NFL spokesman called the report “NOT accurate.” The Atheltics’s Jeff Howe also shared a denial from the league.
The Patriots-Dolphins game is *not* scheduled for Mexico City next season, according to the NFL.
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) January 28, 2020
An NFL spokesman tells me on the record that the report stating Patriots-Dolphins is in Mexico City next year is NOT accurate.
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) January 28, 2020
Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith noted that the Dolphins had already committed to giving up a home game in 2020 in order to play an international game, so their involvement made sense. Yet the Patriots’ road schedule — which features two games in Los Angeles, plus another game in Seattle — may not make them the best choice for a Dolphins opponent.
If this is accurate, the Patriots would have trips to LA (2x), Seattle and Mexico City. Seems excessive to me… https://t.co/qmH2kpnX2e
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) January 28, 2020
Bill Belichick and the Patriots played in Mexico against the Raiders during the 2017 season, a game which the Patriots won 33-8. After that game, Belichick complained that the logistics of the game made for a taxing road trip.
“Personally, I wouldn’t be in any big rush to do it again,” Belichick said on WEEI. “It’s a long way to go for a game. There’s a lot to it in terms of all the logistics of it. They are not used to having a NFL team so you have to go in there and handle a lot of the logistics. It took a lot of man power, a lot of hours, a lot of energy out of our organization to do that. This week, we’re tired. We are exhausted from the trip. It was a good trip, but it took a lot out of us I think. Look, we play eight on the road and eight at home every year, so it is what it is. I don’t think I’d necessarily be in any big rush to go back and do that again, but if that is where the game is scheduled, sure we’ll play it there.”
While the trip to Mexico was not a rousing success in Belichick’s eyes in 2017, he may not mind a trip in 2020, if it happens. As head coach of the Patriots, he’s led the team to just a 9-11 record in Miami since 2000. That includes losses in five of the last seven years.
If it happens, the game would mark the Patriots’ third international contest since 2009, as the team also played two games in London (2009, 2012). The Patriots have won all three of their games on foreign soil. But as it stands now, the Patriots won’t be sent back to Mexico in 2020.
An official announcement of the Dolphins’ international opponent could come this week when Roger Goodell gives his annual address to the media gathered to cover the Super Bowl.