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Volume 26 No. 205
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Chiefs-Chargers Going Smoothly Helps NFL's International Ambitions

Playing surface issues were minor this time compared to last year's complications that forced a venue change
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Playing surface issues were minor this time compared to last year's complications that forced a venue change
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Playing surface issues were minor this time compared to last year's complications that forced a venue change
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The Chiefs' win over the Chargers on "MNF" in Mexico last night was a "competitive and captivating game on a night in which the NFL wanted to showcase what it hopes is its broadening international appeal," according to Mark Maske of the WASHINGTON POST. There appeared to be "some issues with the playing surface," but they were "minor compared with last year's complications that forced the change of venue" for Chiefs-Rams. The NFL's return to Mexico "came at a time when the league is putting a particular emphasis on international games." The NFL and NFLPA currently are negotiating the next CBA, and there are "burgeoning hopes that the deal will be completed in the coming months with a 17-game regular season as part of the pact." If so, that would possibly "leave each NFL team playing one international game per year in future seasons." The NFL "hoped to be able to stage an entertaining and glitch-free game" last night, and "for the most part, it seemed to do so" (WASHINGTON POST, 11/19). The AP's Greg Beacham notes Commissioner Roger Goodell yesterday met with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, with the league and federal government "considering extending the Mexico game series beyond its current deal" through '21 (AP, 11/19).

SURFACE LEVEL CONCERNS: ESPN's Scott Van Pelt said going into the game, there was "concern given the field issues last year," and before the game began "we noticed some of the turf was coming up, but it appeared over the course of the game that everything was fine" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 11/19). PFT's Mike Florio said the turf was "torn up and they had a small army of grounds crew out on the field at halftime, but the reviews were mixed." Many of the players were "fine with the field." NBCSN's Chris Simms said, "There were some chunks of sod coming up during the game, (to the point) where I was going, 'Man, if a superstar gets hurt out here on this field tonight, the NFL's never going to hear the end of it'" ("PFT," NBCSN, 11/19). ESPN's Lisa Salters said she spoke to players who all said they were "pleased with the way" the field played. Salters: "They like how it feels under their feet" ("Chiefs-Chargers," ESPN, 11/18).