NFL champion Ravens to kick off 2013 on road

19 Apr 2013 10:14:15

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The Baltimore Ravens will miss out on the traditional NFL champions' perk of hosting the season opener this year, and instead travel to Denver to take on the Broncos on September 5, the league said.

The game will see the Ravens on the road because baseball's Orioles are playing at home in Baltimore that day, and couldn't shift the meet.

So quarterback Joe Flacco will lead the Ravens against Peyton Manning and the Broncos in a rematch of an American Conference playoff thriller that the Ravens won in double-overtime en route to their Super Bowl triumph.

Flacco inked a six-year deal worth $120.6 million in March to stay with the Super Bowl champs.

The season's schedule features a number of tantalizing reunions and return matches.

Manning can likely expect a warm response when he makes his first trip to Indianapolis, when the Broncos face the Colts on October 20.

He spent 13 seasons with the Colts, then sat out all of 2011 recovering from a series of neck surgeries before the team released him and he signed with Denver.

New Kansas City head coach Andy Reid will make his first appearance in Philadelphia since being sacked by the Eagles when the Chiefs play there on September 19.

Rematches of the 2012 conference championship games are slated for the penultimate week of the regular season, when the New England Patriots will be in Baltimore and the Atlanta Falcons host the San Francisco 49ers.

Three games will be played outside the United States.

The Buffalo Bills' annual home game in Toronto will take place on December 1, when the host the Falcons.

London gets two games this season. The Minnesota Vikings will be the home team against the Steelers on September 29, while the Jacksonville Jaguars will host the 49ers on October 27.

On September 15, Manning will lead the Broncos against younger brother Eli Manning and his Giants in New York.

The final week of the season will again pit divisional rivals against each other, with all the games to be played on December 29.

The first round of the playoffs -- Wild Card Weekend -- is January 4-5, with the divisional round the following weekend.

The American Conference and National Conference championship games will be played on January 19, with the Super Bowl scheduled for February 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

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