Altitude in Mexico City will affect Chiefs-Chargers

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The Chiefs and Chargers are playing tonight in Mexico City, and the altitude will be a factor.

Both teams are accustomed to playing at the mile high elevation in Denver every year, but Mexico City’s altitude will pose an even greater challenge. The game is at Azteca Stadium, which is 7,380 feet above sea level, or 2,100 feet higher than the 5,280-foot altitude of Denver.

It can be tough for athletes to acclimate to high altitudes, which is why the Chargers spent last week practicing at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, which has a virtually identical elevation as Mexico City. The Chiefs, however, said they were better off remaining in their home facilities and aren’t approaching tonight’s game much differently from any other road game.

If the Chargers are going strong and the Chiefs are sucking wind in the fourth quarter, the Chargers will look smart for accounting for the altitude.

Also affected will be the kicking game. The last time the NFL had a game in Mexico City, two years ago, Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski nailed a 62-yard field goal, by far the longest of his career, and the altitude was undeniably a factor in that. A kicked football typically travels about 10 percent farther in Denver than it would at sea level, and it should travel farther still in Mexico City.

Chargers kicker Michael Badgley hit a career-long 59-yard field goal in Los Angeles last year, so if he gets the opportunity, he has a shot at breaking the NFL record for longest field goal: 64 yards, set by Matt Prater in Denver in 2013. Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker has a career-long field goal of 54 yards, so expecting him to hit one from 65 may be unrealistic even at 7,000 feet.

Whether the altitude proves advantageous to either team remains to be seen, but it’s undeniably a factor in Mexico City.

18 responses to “Altitude in Mexico City will affect Chiefs-Chargers

  1. I just don’t get the point of taking regular season NFL games abroad. That includes the London games and now this one. Do it during preseason. Even take the Pro Bowl if needed. Heck, I’m open to even having the Super Bowl played abroad, as it’s supposed to be a neutral venue anyway. But taking home games during regular season distorts the balance.

  2. Makes no sense why the Chiefs wouldn’t at least prepare somewhere with higher elevation. Especially with the way they run their offense and the fact that their defense is swiss cheese. Not a good look if they starting sucking air come the 4th quarter

  3. Then why were there a number of comments in an article on here last week about Chargers players not looking forward to playing in the altitude calling them sissies, entitled brats, etc? Are there really that many people on here who have no idea how playing a sport in higher elevation with thinner air is taxing on the players?

  4. I’m a big Chiefs fan and have been a Big Red fan since he joined the team. Rarely if ever have I attributed a loss to coaching because in years past the team has always had holes in personnel. This season is different, this team is not only a superpower on offense but is stacked on the defensive side as well, even though the play says otherwise. Special teams have been our best unit this last few years. Not anymore.

    I place all our losses this year squarely on Reid and his coaching staff. Their inability to adjust effectively week to week to the issues has been infuriating, this “keep the routine” mantra that is always preached needs to have exceptions, like playing at a 7k altitude. That defense is going to be absolutely gassed by the end of the 3rd chasing running backs, because if Anthony Lynn is worth anything as a coach he’ll do what every other team has done that has beat the chiefs and that’s run it right up the gut of that D.

    Smart coaching would stick Pennel in the middle where he had success stopping the run, and place Jones and Clark in the ends to get pressure against those rookie tackles.

    But hey, I’m just a 40 year old fan stirring on my coach watching every play week in and week out, what do I know.

  5. If elevation is a factor, and being that at least one player literally had to miss a game in Denver a few year back Because of elevation, then why would the league choose such a horrible location?

    I hope neither teams feels the elevation difference and it’s just a good game. But if things go bad, it will just prove to be another money grab by the league, at the expense of the players and fans.

  6. I just don’t get the point of taking regular season NFL games abroad. That includes the London games and now this one. Do it during preseason. Even take the Pro Bowl if needed. Heck, I’m open to even having the Super Bowl played abroad, as it’s supposed to be a neutral venue anyway. But taking home games during regular season distorts the balance.

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$Does this clear it up for you?

  7. The games abroad are all about money. The NFL market in the US is stagnating, and the league has some ambitious revenue goals. Beijing is probably next. Imagine an NFL game At the bird nest stadium.

  8. As a team I’d forfeit every out of country game!! Just pathetic that they move these games from the real fans.

  9. I don’t know about anyone else, but as a Raiders fan, I’m going to be rooting hard for the Chargers tonight.

  10. I’ve heard it takes 48 hours before it starts to affect people and far longer than a week to acclimate to which is why the Chiefs are doing it this way, they’re taking the quick in/out approach. Guess Reid has always used this approach/method/science.

  11. klutch14u says:
    November 18, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    I’ve heard it takes 48 hours before it starts to affect people…

    ——————————————————————

    You heard wrong…

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