San Francisco 49ers & Arizona Cardinals Gearing Up For Monday Night Football In Mexico City


Things are normalizing in the wake of the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic, so American football games will be played outside of the U.S this year.

This season will see the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals play in Mexico City, Mexico. The game, which is set for November 21 at the Estadio Azteca, will pit two of the more popular teams in the NFL in the location which hosted the league’s very first international game.

The fixture, played out on October 2, 2005, in Mexico City, drew a crowd of 103,476 (a record at the time) and presented rookie Alex Smith with his NFL debut. As it happens, the same teams were in action back then. Smith, who was the No.1 overall pick in the NFL Draft that year, came on in the fourth quarter to replace Tim Rattay in what was a 31-14 loss for San Francisco.

The 49ers scored both of their touchdowns – defensive ones – during the first seven minutes of the game, but that would be it.

The Cardinals have won eight of the last 11 meetings between the two sides, including both last season but they have struggled so far this season, with DeAndre Hopkins suspended for six games of 2022/23 as a result of his violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. The wide receiver will miss one more game before his Week 7 return so the Cards will be happy to see him return by the time the Mexico fixture rolls around. They will be happy to have him back from a general standpoint as they’re 2-3 to start the season.

Having got off to a hot start last season, winning their first seven games, their current form presents stark contrast, and top betting outlets such as Caesars Sportsbook Arizona will have some pretty wide odds on their Super Bowl chances – they’re currently 66/1 to win it.

The 49ers, though, have the most reason to benefit from the upcoming fixture in Mexico as their schedule has nine home games, seven road games, and one set to be played at a neutral venue.


Having another NFL game in Mexico is a pretty huge deal; it will only be the third time. Players of Mexican heritage also aren’t all that common in the NFL and Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Michael Davis is one of the few.

Davis, whose mother is Mexican, was one of four players gifted Latino-themed cleats by El Snap NFL as part of Latino Heritage Month in September.

The player, born and raised in Glendale, California, doesn’t recall watching that many Mexican football players while growing up. Instead, he idolized soccer stars such as Ronaldinho and Chicharito. Now that he’s become one of a few players to represent Mexico, he’s keen on showing the younger folk from south of the border that they can achieve anything.

“I try to do my best representing the Hispanic culture, representing Mexico,” he said last month, per “I feel like it just shows everybody, even Hispanic kids, that it’s possible, anything is possible. We are able to play in the NFL.”

“Football is not really a big sport in Mexico,” he admitted. “It’s futbol, like soccer, and baseball and basketball. It just goes to show that Hispanics can branch out and play different sports. Play in the NFL, which is an American-dominated sport.”

Davis considers his mother, Ana Martinez, his best friend. And her first name was displayed in full upper case on his right cleat last month.

“I kept telling Michael, never give up,” she recalled. “If you want to accomplish something, you need to continue.

“I wanted him to know where I came from and for him to know my family. For him to be able to interact with everybody, my entire family. For him to see what it was like when we gathered and what we do as a family. What type of food I grew up with, the music, and the Catholic beliefs that my family instilled in me. I passed that to him.”

Unfortunately for Davis, he won’t be part of the action when the NFL heads to Mexico next month, but he should be hoping to be able to play in front of a Mexican crowd someday.