COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Now in his 18th NFL season, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady doesn't experience many firsts anymore. But Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders marks one of them.
"I've never been to Mexico City. It's nice that it's here," Brady said Friday after the team's final practice at the Air Force Academy.
"When the schedule comes out and you figure out where you're playing, this is the kind of game you look forward to, playing against a really good football team in a pretty cool environment. So it will be very memorable. I think everyone's excited."
The game at Estadio Azteca will be the 30th regular-season NFL game played outside of the United States. It will be the third regular-season game played in Mexico City, following the Cardinals-49ers game in 2005 and last season's Texans-Raiders game.
Brady has taken note of how fans have responded to football in Mexico City. "They were pretty into it last year. I remember watching it, and watched a little bit this week just to kind of get a feel for the atmosphere," he said. "They're cheering loud the whole game, and it seems like there's a lot of Raiders fans. Hopefully there will be a lot of Patriot fans, too. It will be really cool."
The Patriots have played two regular-season games outside the United States, both in London: a 35-7 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 25, 2009, and a 45-7 win over the St. Louis Rams on Oct. 28, 2012.
Overall, there have been 21 games in London, two in Mexico City and six in Toronto.
Playing an international game comes with logistical challenges, and coach Bill Belichick said, "We'll do the best we can. I've never been there before. We've got other people that are planning for it. We'll figure it out when we get there."
The team has practiced all week at the Air Force Academy and departs for Mexico City on Saturday.
Receiver Danny Amendola visited Mexico City in the offseason and came away impressed with how the game is viewed there. "There's a lot of football love in Mexico City," he said. "They're really enthusiastic, they're really amped up, ready for the NFL to get down there. We're all excited too. It's going to be a fun week."