San Francisco (1-2) at Arizona (0-3)

  • Game info: 8:30 pm EDT Sun Oct 2, 2005
  • TV: ESPN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals play the first regular-season game outside the United States in the NFL’s 83-year history when they meet at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

The league announced in July that it wanted to play outside the country so it could determine whether to begin a broader international push.

The NFL “is going to look at all of the markets that have indicated an interest in doing this around the world: several in Europe, Canada, Asia,” said Roger Goodell, the league’s executive vice president.

Goodell re-emphasized what commissioner Paul Tagliabue said when he announced the project: that if the game is a success, the league might “look to play an international game, maybe on an annual basis, and rotate that around to some of the markets that have an interest globally.”

The first of five NFL preseason games in Mexico was in 1994, when the Houston Oilers beat the Dallas Cowboys 6-0. It set the league record for attendance by drawing 112,376 to Azteca. The stadium has since been renovated, making it impossible for attendance to top 105,000.

Fans will be watching a pair of teams trying to end losing streaks.

Arizona fell to 0-3 on the season with a 37-12 loss in Seattle last Sunday, while San Francisco lost 34-31 at home to Dallas for its second straight defeat.

After unsuccessfully juggling three quarterbacks last season, the Cardinals hoped veteran Kurt Warner would provide a steady presence for a young offense. But after three games, the veteran is sidelined with a right groin injury, and the Cardinals will be starting Josh McCown this week.

Warner signed with Arizona in March and the two-time NFL MVP opened this season with losses to his former teams—St. Louis and the New York Giants— before suffering the injury in last Sunday’s defeat. He was 8-of-13 for 105 yards before getting hurt with just under four minutes remaining in the second quarter.

“You don’t want to be sitting out the game,” Warner said Monday. “You want to be out there battling, no question. But at the same time, when those things happen, what do you do? Do you stew on it and pout about it, or do you do everything you can to get back on the winning track?”

McCown struggled after replacing Warner, going 10-of-23 for 97 yards and an interception as the Cardinals got off to an 0-3 start for the second straight season under coach Dennis Green.

“It’s not working,” Green said. “You have a lot of strategies, you plan strategies and you want them to work. Now we’re sitting 0-3 and played very poorly in the second half.”

Although Warner is hoping to return soon, the Cardinals signed free agent Rohan Davey on Tuesday in case he is out longer than expected. John Navarre will serve as McCown’s backup.

San Francisco received a solid performance from its quarterback, but blew a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter in the loss to Dallas. Tim Rattay was 21-of-34 for 269 yards and tied his career high with three TDs.

Four different receivers had at least four catches, with Brandon Lloyd finishing with a career-high 142 yards.

“We never felt it slipping away,” Rattay said. “We felt good and confident. I couldn’t make any plays near the end, and I take full responsibility for this loss.”

San Francisco allowed Drew Bledsoe to pass for 363 yards and wasted an opportunity to drive for a tying field goal when Dat Nguyen intercepted Rattay’s tipped pass at midfield with 54 seconds left.

“It’s unacceptable to lose that game,” Niners coach Mike Nolan said. “They ought to feel the same way. It’s unacceptable. We’re not a 2-14 football team. When you all of a sudden think that you’re a 2-14 football team, that’s an OK performance.”

This contest is considered a home game for the Cardinals.

Updated Friday, Sep 30, 2005

Team Comparison

Team Records Standings PF PA Road/Home AFC NFC DIV Streak
San Francisco 4-12-0 4th NFC West 239 428 1-7-0 Road 1-3-0 3-9-0 2-4-0 Won 2
Arizona 5-11-0 3rd NFC West 311 387 3-5-0 Home 1-3-0 4-8-0 3-3-0 Lost 1

Related Articles

Team Stat Leaders

Passing Yards
Rushing Yards
Receiving Yards


Week 5
  Sunday, Oct 9  
Detroit 17
35 Final
Buffalo 14
20 Final
  New Orleans
Green Bay 3
52 Final
  Tampa Bay
NY Jets 12
14 Final
Cleveland 10
20 Final
  New England
Atlanta 31
28 Final
St. Louis 37
31 Final
Houston 34
20 Final
San Francisco 28
3 Final
Dallas 10
33 Final
Arizona 24
20 Final
Denver 19
21 Final
Jacksonville 20
23 Final
      Monday, Oct 10  
San Diego 24
22 Final