Due to some scheduling conflicts with the MLB, the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens open up their 2013 slate on the road. They will travel to Denver for an AFC rematch with Peyton Manning and the Broncos.
Last season, the Broncos appeared to be headed to the AFC title game when Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco connected with Jacoby Jones on a 70-yard bomb with just 31 seconds left to propel the Ravens to a double-overtime victory. But many faces have departed from Baltimore including Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Anquan Boldin, Paul Kruger, Bernard Pollard and Dannell Ellerbe. Tight end Dennis Pitta is also out for the season with a dislocated hip. However, Peyton Manning doesn’t expect to see much of a drop off for the purple and black.
For Denver, they no longer have defensive end Elvis Dumervil. He, ironically, is now with Baltimore. The Broncos will also be without another prolific pass rusher in Von Miller, who is suspended for the first six games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. ESPN’s John Clayton says it will be difficult to fill the void of the former Texas A&M Aggie.
Denver will also be without veteran cornerback Champ Bailey for the opener due to a sprained foot. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will start in his place. Former Gators Matt Elam and Deonte Thompson could possibly see some playing time tonight for Baltimore as well.
The game will be air here on ESPN 850 WRUF, with coverage starting at 8 PM.