There has been a lot of speculation about which team the defending champion Ravens will face in the 2013 season opener. According to an article by the Denver post today, there is a "strong possibility" that it will be the Denver Broncos, setting up an epic rematch of last year's AFC Divisional Round game. The 2013 NFL schedule will be made public on April 16th.
Unlike previous Super Bowl champions, the Ravens will be forced to kickoff the 2013 with a road game due to a scheduling conflict with the Baltimore Orioles. If they indeed are scheduled to open in up in Denver, the game should garner more than its fair share of national attention for the NFL's opening game. The Ravens would return to Mile High as Super Bowl champions, to the place where their quest for that Super Bowl title was seemingly 45 seconds away from ending before a blown coverage by Denver and a miraculous throw from Joe Flacco to Jacoby Jones sent the game into overtime. It seems only fitting that the Ravens, who were heavily road tested on their way to Super Bowl XLVII, will be forced to perform on the road again, in a hostile environment against one of the league's premiere teams, to kick off the 2013 season. The Ravens will be entering this game with a new look defense that includes All-Pro OLB Elvis Dumervil, a former Bronco who (thanks to a fax fiasco in Denver) decided to take his talents to Baltimore. This is sure to be an intriguing subplot in Denver as Dumervil will be playing his first game for the black and purple against the team that he spent the first 6 seasons of his career with. Peyton Manning will have a new weapon as well for this rematch, as the Broncos were able to acquire former Patriots' WR Wes Welker this offseason. While the personnel may be different, I fully expect the intensity of this game to remain just as high as the back-and-forth affair we saw in last year's playoffs.