NFL plans to keep Raiders-Patriots game in Mexico City

The NFL is often in the forefront when it comes to offering assistance during times of need.

The Saints stepped up when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. The Texans are doing the same now with J.J. Watt raising $37 million for Hurricane Harvey victims in Houston.

Now Mexico City needs the help of the NFL and the Raiders, who consider the capital of Mexico a second home.

After the devastating 7.1-magnitude earthquake that rocked Mexico City on Tuesday and left more than 200 dead, the NFL said it would evaluate whether to keep the scheduled Nov. 19 game between the Raiders and Patriots at Azteca Stadium, which sustained minimum damage.

The NFL’s first step to helping Mexico City recover was by keeping the Raiders-Patriots game at the 87,000-seat stadium. On Friday, a league spokesman said the NFL has no plans to change the venue of the game, according to Pro Football Talk.

An NFL game two months away is probably the last thing on the minds of the earthquake victims, but when the time comes, it will put smiles on the faces of many. Just imagine the weeklong charity events the NFL will surely plan.

The game instantly sold out in August, and taking that away from the Mexican fans would be another blow. The Raiders are beloved in Mexico, and the Patriots left their mark there during the summer after hosting community events.

Should be an electrifying game when Derek Carr and Tom Brady battle at the historic stadium and a night to remember for the people of Mexico City.

0-2 squads

It’s desperation time for the 0-2 teams with playoff hopes entering the season.

There are nine winless teams, but many assumed the Bears, Browns, Jets and 49ers wouldn’t sniff the postseason. The Colts had some hope if Andrew Luck came back after a few games. That doesn’t seem likely.

Teams such as the Giants, Saints, Bengals and Chargers still have enough talent to make a run at a wild-card spot. But all four have tough matchups and could be staring at an 0-3 hole.

The Giants are at the Eagles, who look like the best team in the NFC East. The Saints are facing the tough Panthers defense. The Bengals have the daunting task of playing the Packers at Lambeau Field. The Chargers are hosting arguably the best team in the league, the Chiefs.

Falcons-Lions

This week’s must-watch game is the rising Lions hosting the defending NFC champions, the Falcons.

Early MVP candidate Matthew Stafford will duke it out with reigning MVP Matt Ryan. Ziggy Ansah and the rest of the Lions defense will have a tough time trying to slow the explosive Falcons offense.

Look for Julio Jones to have a monster game after being held out of the end zone for a second straight week. Jones has nine catches for 174 yards this season.

Ten years in London

Set your alarms, football fans. The Ravens and Jaguars open the Sunday slate with a 6:30 a.m. game from London.

This will be the 10th straight season the NFL hosts a regular-season game in London. Remember the first one? The Giants versus the Dolphins on Oct. 28, 2007. It was a muddy and sloppy 13-10 victory for the Giants, who went on to defeat the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

Contact Gilbert Manzano at gmanzano@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GManzano24 on Twitter.

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