In loss, Arizona Cardinals find way to appreciate Estadio Azteca atmosphere

José M. Romero
Arizona Republic
Fans arrive for the Mexico City matchup between the 49ers and Cardinals during Monday Night Football at Estadio Azteca on Nov. 21, 2022.

Monday night was a major disappointment for the Arizona Cardinals at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. Their season is in serious jeopardy of being a losing one.

And yet players and head coach Kliff Kingsbury took at least a little time to take in the sights and sounds of the gigantic and historic stadium in the south of the nation's capital, where more than 78,000 fans cheered, booed, sang and danced at the 2022 NFL Mexico game between the host Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers.

The 49ers romped 38-10, though the Cardinals took an early lead and were down by seven at halftime.

"Really cool stadium and a really cool experience," Cardinals quarterback Colt McCoy said. "Honestly, I didn't really know what to expect. ... It was pretty loud, environment was fun. Walking down basically through the stadium down to the field, that's a really unique experience."

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The walk from the Cardinals locker room to the field was a narrow ramp.

McCoy said people in town were "super nice," and that 49ers fans made a difference with all of their noise.

"I know the 49ers fans travel well. They were pretty loud. We went on the silent count most of the night," he said.

"It was really cool. The difference in cultures is great," linebacker Zaven Collins said.

Several Cardinals had Mexican soccer jerseys they wore on the trip, paying homage to the soccer-mad nation. Most fans were there for the 49ers, but that didn't stop the Cardinals from marveling at the raucous and football-savvy crowd.

For head coach Kliff Kingsbury, the experience of being in Mexico City was a positive one.

"The atmosphere was incredible. They put on a great game and the entire weekend was spectacular," he said. "I wish we could have performed better, but that was a great atmosphere for football."

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Quick outs

*Wide receiver Rondale Moore left the game early in the first quarter with a groin injury. McCoy said it happened on the first play of the game, and Kingsbury said it was tough losing Moore that early.

"But hopefully it won't be too long term," Kingsbury said.

*McCoy went into the medical tent to be checked out but was fine, he and Kingsbury said.

"I should be all right," McCoy said.