Broncos v Ravens Preview: NFL season begins with familiar foes facing off

The wait is finally over. The 2013 NFL season gets underway on Thursday night at Mile High Stadium in Denver.

The Broncos host the defending Super Bowl champions Baltimore Ravens, who would have been playing at home were it not for a scheduling conflict with their cities baseball team the Baltimore Orioles.

John Harbaugh’s team comes off the back of an amazing Super Bowl run last January but they have suffered several key losses in the offseason, inspirational linebacker Ray Lewis retired along with Pro Bowl centre Matt Birk and Ed Reed left for the Houston Texans. They still have Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco, who can back himself to beat any team.

These were all part of a championship winning team and the Ravens will have to allow time to replace them.

Denver, on the other hand, comes into the season with real hopes of being a Super contender and in the process put behind them the crushing loss these very same Ravens in the Divisional playoff round that ended their season.

Any team with Peyton Manning at QB will have a chance of going all the way to the Super Bowl.

It will be an interesting game to watch because these two teams know each other quite well, having played each other quite regularly over the past few seasons.

An interesting aspect to the game is whether or not the reshaped Ravens defense will cope with the potentially explosive offense that Manning runs, if Baltimore can get to the Quarterback and force turnovers then they can really assert their dominance and win the game.

Although if they allow Manning to get into a rhythm early and get ahead, it could be a very long night indeed for the Champions.

You have to count the Broncos as the favourites due to the fact that Mile High Stadium gives a unique home field advantage, visiting teams struggle with the conditions and the thin air, which makes it harder for players to breath. Oxygen masks are commonplace on the sideline in Denver

It promises to be a great start to the new season with two great quarterbacks; Peyton Manning and Joe Flacco, battling out to get that all important first win on the board. The quality these two teams possess it wouldn’t be far fetched to find the Ravens and the Broncos meeting up again in the playoffs.

Below you can see the miraculous play from last season Divisional playoff matchup, the play kept the Ravens in the game and they went on to win in over time. 

image: © deegephotos