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2013 NFL Schedule: Ravens will open in Denver for 2013 NFL Kickoff

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

The Broncos and Ravens will open up the 2013 NFL Schedule with the 2013 NFL Kickoff in Denver. (USATSI)
Baltimore is headed back to Denver to kick off the 2013 NFL schedule. (USATSI)

The Super Bowl champion Ravens will be taking a break from tradition and playing their first game on the road, in Denver against the Broncos, league sources told CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora.

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The 2013 NFL schedule has been released, and the first game of the season won't be in Baltimore, despite the Ravens taking home the Lombardi Trophy.

The Ravens faced the issue of convincing Major League Baseball to move the Orioles' scheduled home game on Thursday night, Sept. 5, in order to accommodate the 2013 NFL Kickoff game and were pinched because of religious holidays. Roger Goodell expressed optimism at the 2013 NFL owners meetings that the league could work with MLB, the Orioles and the city of Baltimore to make something work.

And the Ravens were even invited to opening day. But, ultimately, the Orioles decided they wouldn't budge on moving their game to help out the local football team.

On Wednesday, I wrote about 10 non-divisional games I want to see in primetime. On that list was Ravens at Broncos, mainly because of the likelihood it would end up being the 2013 NFL Kickoff game.

But there's also plenty of drama involved in this showdown. For one, the Ravens don't get to start their championship defense at home. That's a killer. Secondly, the last time these teams played, the Broncos appeared poised toward heading for the AFC Championship Game before Joe Flacco hit Jacoby Jones for a deep pass that torched Rahim Moore and stunned the world.

And third, this offseason featured Elvis Dumervil moving from Denver to Baltimore thanks in large part to faulty fax machine usage.

It's certainly not the ideal setup for the Ravens, and it's a tough first opponent for the Broncos. But the 2013 NFL Kickoff is going to feature a ton of drama and storylines. Even when the NFL can't have its way, things still manage to work out all right.

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