‘Monday Night Football’ Heads to Mexico City as Texans and Raiders Battle South of the Border

ESPN commentators Sean McDonough and Jon Gruden report from Azteca Stadium


“Monday Night Football” went south of the border this week as the Oakland Raiders “hosted” the Houston Texans in Mexico City.

ESPN commentators Sean McDonough and Jon Gruden — along with reporter Lisa Salters on the sidelines and analyst Steve Levy showing off his flawless Spanish –– covered the first NFL regular-season game in Mexico City in 11 years on “MNF,” and it was certainly eventful.

After being neck-and-neck for four quarters, Derek Carr led Oakland to a 27-20 victory in what was considered a Raiders home game.

Estadio Azteca! ???????????????????????? #HOUvsOAK #MiPartidoMiNFL ??”?: @tapiaphoto/NFL

A photo posted by NFL (@nfl) on

Aside from the players needing to pack their passports, the international game created the added challenge of elevation for the two teams battling it out near the top of the AFC, as Azteca Stadium sits at 7,280 feet above sea level.

In comparison, the Denver Bronco’s Sports Authority Field at Mile High — the  NFL’s most-elevated venue — only sits at 5,280 feet. Elevation can cause headaches, dizziness, sensation of fatigue, accelerated heartbeat and hyperventilation, especially for two teams who are used to playing close to sea level.

The altitude and the notorious pollution in Mexico City didn’t slow down the play however, as in the game that was tied on at least two occasions and only ever separated by a touchdown.

On top of all that, Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler had to combat a fan trying to blind him by shining a green laser into his eyes.

Needless to say, that and the colorful card stunts by the tens of thousands of rambunctious Mexican fans packing the stadium, fired up social media with some very interesting posts.