There will probably be some hooting and hollering, yelling and celebrating on the Patriots’ flight home to New England.
At least that’s how it’ll be for a couple hours before players fall asleep, safety Devin McCourty said after the team’s 33-8 drubbing of the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
It was the Patriots’ sixth straight victory and the club’s 13th straight road win, dating back to last season.
Quarterback Tom Brady was brilliant from the beginning, going 9-of-9 passing for 61 yards and a touchdown on the opening drive. He finished 30 of 37 for 339 yards, three touchdowns, and a 131.9 rating as the offense rolled up more than 400 total yards.
Receiver Brandin Cooks turned in arguably his finest performance as a Patriot, reeling in catches of 50 and 64 yards, the latter of which went for a touchdown. He had six receptions for 149 yards.
“Josh [McDaniels] made a great call and it’s a play we’ve run before,” Brady said of the 64-yard touchdown to Cooks. “Cookie had a tight split then he fakes the out and runs the out-go, the guy jumped it and he was pretty wide open, so I was just trying not to blow it.
“I mean, if I would’ve missed that one, that would’ve sucked, but he caught it stride. It’s tough to catch him from behind when he gets behind the defense.”
Coach Bill Belichick, who surpassed Tom Landry on the career wins list with Sunday’s victory, said nobody works harder than Cooks and that he does everything asked of him.
“He works very hard to do it well and create the good timing with the quarterback and the other receivers in the passing game,” Belichick said. “He’s very unselfish. He’s a great teammate. We’re fortunate to have him on our team.”
Kicker Stephen Gostkowski had a career day, making a 62-yard field goal just before halftime that was a career-long, tied for sixth longest in league history, and set a franchise record.
“That gets the whole team going when you kick a field goal from that deep,” McCourty said.
Belichick said the field goal was the culmination of this week’s emphasis on the difference in range.
“I think it really put an exclamation point on the situational football that we talked about this week and that play in particular, how field goal range would be greater in Mexico City than what it normally is and maybe even a little bit more than what it is in Denver. That’s the way it played out,” he said. “Steve hit a great ball.”
Gostkowski added field goals of 51, 40, and 29 yards – the third time this season he has made four field goals.
Brady called Gostkowski the best kicker in the league, but lamented he wanted to get into the end zone rather than rely on Gostkowski’s leg so often.
“It’d be nice to always score touchdowns when you get down there,” he said. “We’ve been really close a few times, just didn’t quite get them in. But that’s going to be really important here down the next six games.”
The Raiders did little to help themselves. They turned the ball over twice — a fumble in the red zone and an interception — and their pass catchers were plagued by drops. The Raiders’ pass rush failed to get after Brady outside of one sack, and they allowed more than 300 yards through the air for the third time in four games.
The victory bookended a 10-day journey for New England that began in Denver, continued in Colorado Springs, and ended in Mexico City.
“I think these trips all come down to whether you win or lose and you remember it when you win. If you lose, you probably want to forget it as fast as you can,” Brady said. “But we’ve been to London, coming here, been to other neutral sites, you really have to focus in on what you have to do. You got to try to keep your routine as best you can so that when you come out there and play, you’re ready to go.”
McCourty said it was big that New England came away from this trip with two victories.
“We talked about it when we took off to go to Denver about a long trip, but making it worthwhile, and that was getting two wins,” he said. “Like we talked about during the week, being away from home meant doing a good job of preparing and being together and executing our game plan and I think both sides of the ball, we did that today. We played at a high level. They made some plays, but I thought we executed our game plan and did exactly what we wanted to do today.”
They are now 8-2 and tied with the Steelers — their Week 15 opponent — atop the AFC.
4th quarter: Patriots 33, Raiders 8
Stephen Gostkowski made his fourth field goal of the day, this one a 29-yarder, capping off an eight-play, 59-yard drive by the Patriots.
4th quarter: Patriots 30, Raiders 8
Oakland will avoid being shut out.
The Raiders finished off a 13-play, 75-yard drive with a 9-yard pass from Derek Carr to Amari Cooper. They then went for two, converting on a pass from Carr to Michael Crabtree.
3rd quarter: Patriots 30, Raiders 0
Make it 3 for 3.
Stephen Gostkowski attempted and made a 40-yard field goal to capitalize the Raiders turning it over on downs at their own 44-yard line.
Gilmore, Amendola questionable to return
Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore and receiver Danny Amendola are dehydrated and their returns are questionable.
3rd quarter: Patriots 27, Raiders 0
A 51-yard field goal?
No sweat for Stephen Gostkowski, who booted it through to cap an eight-play, 47-yard drive by the Patriots.
He is now 2 for 2 on field goals in the game, including his 62-yarder just before halftime.
3rd quarter: Patriots 24, Raiders 0
That was quick.
On the second play of the second half, Tom Brady heaved it to Brandin Cooks for a 64-yard touchdown. It was the Patriots’ longest pass play of the season; Brady and Cooks also connected on a 50-yard pass in the second quarter.
Cooks, who has four touchdown receptions this season, now has six career touchdown catches for 60 or more yards, five coming with the Saints. And Brady now has 23 career touchdown passes of 60 or more yards. This was his first since Week 17 of last season.
2nd quarter: Patriots 17, Raiders 0
After forcing a fumble with less than a minute to go in the first half, the Patriots trotted out Stephen Gostkowski four plays later to attempt a 62-yard field goal.
The veteran placekicker nailed it, extending New England’s lead.
The 62-yarder is tied for the sixth longest field goal in league history, is a Patriots franchise record, and is a career long for Gostkowski, who made a 58-yarder earlier this season.
Gostkowski has now made 21 of 28 career attempts of 50 yards or longer.
And with the field goal, New England has scored in final minute of the first half in seven consecutive games.
Fumble, recovered by New England
With the Raiders driving into New England territory, Marquis Flowers knocked the ball loose after Seth Roberts caught a 12-yard pass at the 3-yard line. Safety Patrick Chung came up with it, and the Patriots took over with less than a minute to go in the first half.
A big stop by the defense.— New England Patriots (@Patriots) November 19, 2017
Flowers & Chung team up for turnover. pic.twitter.com/lI5sqzKTgc
2nd quarter: Patriots 14, Raiders 0
For the second time in three possessions against the Raiders, the Patriots found the end zone.
This nine-play, 80-yard drive was capped off by a 5-yard pass from Tom Brady to Danny Amendola, who got open at the back of the end zone on third and goal. It was Amendola’s second touchdown of the season and Brady’s 21st touchdown pass on the year.
On the drive, Brady hit Brandin Cooks for a 50-yard strike that helped set up the score. The 50-yarder was the second longest pass play of the season for the Patriots, behind a 54-yarder from Brady to Cooks against the Chiefs in Week 1.
Brady is now 18-of-21 passing for 173 yards and two touchdowns. The Patriots are also 5 of 6 on third down so far.
Chung goes into medical tent, returns to game on next series
Patriots safety Patrick Chung was slow to get up after tackling Michael Crabtree early in the second quarter. He jogged off the field and went into the medical tent. Chung later reemerged from the medical tent and rejoined his teammates on the sideline.
Jordan Richards replaced Chung for the rest of the series before Chung returned to the game on the next defensive series.
Chung is a key player for the Patriots in this game, covering tight end Jared Cook, who is the Raiders’ top target.
Interception: Duron Harmon
Patriots safety Duron Harmon came up with an interception after Jonathan Jones broke up a Derek Carr pass intended for Johnny Holton on third and 11.
New England took over on offense at its own 16-yard line.
It was Harmon’s second interception of the season and ninth of his career.
1st quarter: Patriots 7, Raiders 0
New England used a 15-play, 87-yard drive to get on the scoreboard first.
On second and 6, Tom Brady found Dion Lewis on the check down, and Lewis did the rest to get into the end zone, scoring his first receiving touchdown of the season and his fifth overall tochdown of the year.
Brady was perfect on the possession: 9 for 9 for 61 yards, including two third-down conversions to Danny Amendola.
The Patriots won the toss and deferred to the second half.
For the Patriots, center David Andrews, receiver Chris Hogan, right tackle Marcus Cannon, special teamer Matthew Slater, defensive lineman Malcom Brown, cornerback Eric Rowe, and running back Mike Gillislee.
Rowe will miss his sixth straight game, and Gillislee is a healthy scratch for the second straight week. Second-year man Ted Karras will likely replace Andrews.
For the Raiders, cornerback David Amerson, linebacker Shilique Calhoun, quarterback Connor Cook, defensive tackle Darius Latham, tackle Marshall Newhouse, defensive end Jihad Ward, and tackle Jylan Ware.
Setting the scene
Here are a few photos from in and around Estadio Azteca in the leadup to kickoff:
Looks like part of the recent renovations at Azteca included a lower club/suite level with couches and plants pic.twitter.com/QMbY0YWly7— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) November 19, 2017
Open air press boxes are the best. Really love feeling the energy of the crowd pic.twitter.com/OZYMb0TEzr— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) November 19, 2017
Press box view from 7,400 feet. pic.twitter.com/OVL3x1hhOS— Nora Princiotti (@NoraPrinciotti) November 19, 2017
The barbed wire fences at Estadio Azteca have been replaced by plexiglass pic.twitter.com/JlbNwphEiR— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) November 19, 2017
Welcome to Gameday
It’s Week 11 and the Patriots are in Mexico City to bookend a 10-day roadtrip.
New England, aiming for its sixth straight win, faces the Oakland Raiders at Estadio Azteca. Meanwhile, the Raiders are coming off their bye week with the hopes of getting to .500 through 10 games.
Follow along here as we update this post throughout the game.
Here is Jim McBride’s thorough scouting report, which includes keys to victory and players to watch. Also for your pregame reading, Ben Volin captures the passion of NFL fans in a few Mexico City neighborhoods in this feature, and examines the status of the league’s game in Mexico City moving forward as well as its continued efforts to expand internationally in this week’s Sunday Football Notes.
Hayden Bird took a look at Estadio Azteca and its significant place in sports history.
Kickoff: 4:25 p.m.
TV/Radio: CBS / WBZ 98.5.
A few notes on the Patriots
■ On Friday, third-year center David Andrews was declared out for the Raiders game.
Andrews has started 36 of 39 career games for the Patriots, including every game the last two seasons. He was present at Wednesday’s full pads practice before falling ill and missing practice Thursday and Saturday.
Andrews’s spot likely will be taken by second-year offensive lineman Ted Karras, who played nine snaps at center during mop-up time in New England’s blowout of the Broncos in Week 10.
“Ted works hard, loves football. Gets there early, stays late,’’ coach Bill Belichick said of the 6-foot-4-inch, 305-pound Karras, who played exclusively at right guard in college before cross-training positions as a pro. “Hasn’t gotten a lot of playing time in the regular season – he did at the beginning of last season when Shaq [Mason] was out.’’
■ As expected, receiver Chris Hogan (shoulder), right tackle Marcus Cannon (ankle), and special teamer Matthew Slater (hamstring) were also ruled out for Sunday’s game.
Defensive tackle Malcom Brown practiced for the third straight day Friday as he recovers from an ankle injury. He looked free and easy and was listed as limited and questionable. Also receiving that designation were receiver Danny Amendola (knee); Martellus Bennett (shoulder/hamstring); defensive end Cassius Marsh (shoulder); and cornerback Eric Rowe (groin). Defensive tackle Alan Branch (neck) was limited but his game status was undefined, which likely means he’s good to go.
— Jim McBride, Globe Staff
■ The Patriots are known for seeking out any possible competitive advantage, no matter how small. One example came this past week, with the team training at altitude in Colorado to prepare for a game 7,200 feet above sea level in Mexico.
Some players downplayed the importance of the week in Colorado Springs, but practicing at more than 6,600 feet at the Air Force Academy’s Falcon Stadium and sleeping at close to that altitude did have an effect.
“It’s hard to breathe sometimes but you just try and get used to it as much as you can,” running back James White said. “Mexico is going to be a little bit harder to breathe or whatever.”
Players burned through lip balm and bottles of moisturizer in the dry air, and some got extra humidifiers delivered to the team hotel.
“It gets you a little bit,” said running back Dion Lewis. “I just get cottonmouth. That’s the only difference I see, but I really don’t tell the difference.”
— Nora Princiotti, Globe Staff
Globe reporter tweets