The defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens will kick off the NFL season this tomorrow night when they travel to Denver to face the Broncos. Such as it is in the NFL, most of the attention will be focused on the Quarterbacks.
“This is my 16th opening day and I’ve played in this opening game three times,” says Manning. “It’s got a little something extra to it. I think everybody will be excited and have some healthy butterflies. I think it’s a good thing.”
Broncos Quarterback Peyton Manning was named the 2012 NFL Comeback Player of the Year by The Associated Press after missing the entire 2011 season due to injury. The four-time NFL MVP passed for 4,659 yards with an AFC-best 37 touchdowns and 105.8 passer rating as he led the Broncos to a 13-3 record and an AFC West title. Manning, who is entering his 16th NFL season, ranks third all-time in career passing yards (59,487) and second in completions (5,082) and touchdown passes (436). Peyton has a 10-4 (.714) record in season openers, and with a victory against the Ravens tomorrow, he can become the first Quarterback in the Super Bowl era to win at least 12 consecutive regular-season games three separate times in a career.
Ravens Quarterback Joe Flacco, who led Baltimore to its 2nd Super Bowl title in franchise history last season, is 5-0 on Kickoff Weekend and aims to remain unbeaten in season openers. Flacco enters his 6th year under center as the Ravens signal caller. In the 2012 playoffs, Flacco passed for 1,140 yards with 11 Touchdowns and no Interceptions for a 117.2 passer rating. His 11 postseason TD passes tied Joe Montana (1989) and Kurt Warner (2008) for the most TD passes in a single postseason. The strong-armed quarterback is 54-26 (.675) as a starter in the regular-season and holds franchise career passing records in completions (1,507), yards (17,633) and Touchdowns (102)
As a team, Baltimore has the 2nd-longest active winning streak in season openers (five). The Ravens also own the 2nd-longest active winning streak in home openers (seven) and the 3rd-highest all-time winning percentage (.706, 12-5) in such games.
- Of the 506 teams which won openers…266 went to the playoffs.
- Of the 507 teams which lost openers…120 went to the playoffs.
*Note: There are a different number of winning and losing teams in season opening games due to the fact the NFL had 31 teams in each season from 1999 to 2001, which creates an odd number for the total number of results.
The 2013 season marks Pat Bowlen’s 30th season as owner of the Denver Broncos. Joining Giants founder Tim Mara as the only three-decade owners in professional football history to post a 60-percent career winning percentage (292-199-1). Bowlen needs just eight victories to become the first owner to reach 300 wins in 30 years.
The Broncos, who won the AFC West for the 12th time in their history in 2012, are tied for the most titles among division members. Denver won consecutive division titles for the third time in its history and the first since 1986-87.
The Broncos finished the 2012 season with their 2nd-ever perfect record (6-0) in the division. The only other time Denver went undefeated in AFC West play was during its 1998 Super Bowl season (8-0).
Broncos Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway finished second in The Sporting News’ NFL Executive of the Year voting in 2012 after becoming the first executive in the Super Bowl era to lead a four-win improvement and deliver a division title in each of his first two years with a team.
Over the course of his 12-year head coaching career (2002-pres.), John Fox ranks third among active NFL coaches with 100 overall victories. Among active coaches, only New England’s Bill Belichick (147) and Kansas City’s Andy Reid (110) have posted more overall wins than Fox over the last 11 seasons.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR vs. RAVENS
TEAM (11 consecutive regular-season wins)
Needs a win to extend the 2nd-longest regular-season winning streak in Broncos history (record is 14 – 1997-98).
CB CHAMP BAILEY (34 INTs as a Bronco)
Needs one interception to pass Tyrone Braxton (34) for sole possession of 4th place on the team’s all-time interceptions list.
T RYAN CLADY (5 season-opening starts)
If he starts against Baltimore, he will join Claudie Minor (1974-79) as the only offensive linemen in Broncos history to start six consecutive season openers.
WR ERIC DECKER (22 career receiving TDs)
Needs one receiving touchdown to tie Bob Scarpitto (1962-67), Rick Upchurch (1975-83) and Mark Jackson (1986-92) for 11th on the Broncos’ all-time list.
RB KNOWSHON MORENO (2,430 career rushing yards)
Needs 161 rushing yards to tie Tatum Bell (2004-08) for the ninth most in Broncos history.
K MATT PRATER (.806 career field goal percentage)
Needs to convert his next field goal attempt to pass Jason Elam as the franchise’s career leader in field goal accuracy.
WR DEMARYIUS THOMAS (148 career receptions)
Needs five receptions to tie Brandon Stokley for 24th place on the Broncos’ all-time receptions list.
COLLEGE FREE-AGENT ANDERSON MAKES ACTIVE ROSTER
For the 10th consecutive year, at least one rookie college free agent made the Broncos’ active roster out of training camp for the first week of the regular season.
Running back C.J. Anderson (California) extended that streak for the Broncos in 2013. He represents the 16th rookie college free agent to make Denver’s active roster out of training camp since 1997. Entering the 2013 season, Denver’s streak of nine consecutive years with a college free agent on the Week 1 active roster tied for the third-longest active streak in the NFL.
NEW FACES IN DENVER
Denver’s current active roster features 14 players who were not with the
club in 2012. Included in that total are eight veteran free agents, four draft selections,
one college free agent and one trade acquisition. Of the 14 new players, three are listed atop the depth chart at their respective positions.
Veteran Free Agents – 8
Draft Choices – 4
College Free Agents – 1
Trade Acquisitions – 1
Denver is still favored by 7.5 points at this time. Of course the thin Mile High air and the rabid fans of Broncos Country will have a say in the matter as well.
– Kaptain Kirk