This year’s showdown between the Patriots and Raiders was supposed to be a clash of AFC contenders. Instead, Mexico City may instead be the host of Oakland’s rebirth. The Pats and Raiders will face off in Mexico City for this year’s NFL Mexico game in Week 11. Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on CBS (live stream).
The Raiders have gotten off to a rocky start this fall, failing to capitalize on last year’s 12-3 record under quarterback Derek Carr. They can insert themselves back into the thick of the playoff race Sunday by toppling New England on neutral ground.
New England is firmly in the hunt for another top seed in the AFC playoffs after five straight wins have pushed the team to a 7-2 record. Oakland can derail that momentum and climb back to .500 with an upset win. It wouldn’t be a major surprise, either — two of the team’s four wins this fall have come against teams (Titans, Chiefs) currently leading their divisions.
Time, TV channel, and streaming info
- Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
- Location: Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico
- TV: CBS
- Streaming: CBS All Access
- Odds: New England is favored by 6.5 points.
Patriots vs. Raiders news:
- The Martellus Bennett situation is weird, but here’s how he went from needing surgery in Green Bay to catching passes from Tom Brady in four days.
Bennett was ready to throw in the towel on his 2017 season due to a torn rotator cuff, but a change of scenery has returned him to Bill Belichick’s lineup. If he plays Sunday night against the Broncos, he’ll have regained his role with the Patriots despite just three days of practicing with the team. New England can use him, too — Dwayne Allen, acquired by New England to fill Bennett’s role last offseason, has just one reception in 2017.
- A rookie safety may be the most important player to Oakland’s upset bid Sunday.
Their inability to get quick pressure on Brady will be a hindrance to the defense stopping this offense. In order to make up for it, they will need great performances from cornerback TJ Carrie as well as safety Obi Melifonwu.
Solid coverage will forcing Brady to hold the ball longer, giving the pass rush an extra time to get home. The Patriots’ offense thrives on quick underneath routes which Man-1 robber is designed to take away.
- Dion Lewis and the Patriots’ special teams were the key behind the team’s most recent victory over an AFC West foe.
Lewis’ 103-yard touchdown return was gorgeous. He somehow managed to stay in bounds as he ran along the sideline. But that wasn’t his only big play of the day.
He got into the end zone on a 9-yard run, and the Broncos helped him again by having just 10 men on the field. But he also won with his touchdown celebration.
- Justin Ellis’s career year could wreak havoc on the New England offensive line Sunday.
Through nine games, Ellis has put up 32 tackles (18 solo) which is the 7th most in the league among defensive tackles. Those are good numbers over a full season for most nose tackles. And they are well above anything Ellis has put up in any single season in his career.
Prior to this season, Ellis’s career best season in combined tackles was 22. He’s already ten tackles over that with nearly a half season still remaining. Should Ellis somehow match his tackle total over the first nine games over the final seven, he will match his tackles totals over his first three seasons combined.
Will the Patriots be prepared for their second straight game at altitude?
New England has gotten some extra preparation for Sunday’s game in the mountains thanks to a scheduling quirk. The Patriots played Week 10 in Denver, then stuck around Colorado for a week to acclimate to the high altitude awaiting them in Mexico City. Tom Brady called the Air Force Academy home this week as his team huffed and puffed its way to better cardio before a key AFC matchup.
Patriots vs. Raiders prediction:
Only two of our seven experts are picking the Raiders to be resplendent in victory.