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Denver Broncos-Baltimore Ravens playoff rematch kicks off 2013 NFL season (+video)

Denver Broncos-Baltimore Ravens: Another season of National Football League action commences Thursday night with the Broncos and Ravens playing in Denver. These two teams met in last season's AFC Divisional playoff game, with Baltimore coming out on top.

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It's a little different story on defense for the Broncos. Standout linebacker Von Miller will miss the contest as part of a six-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. Veteran cornerback Champ Bailey is out with an foot injury. And former Bronco pass rusher Elvis Dumervil is now with the Ravens, because of a contract snafu involving his agent that allowed him to sign a free-agent deal with Baltimore.

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"It’s just as a player and as a competitor – I’ve been doing it for almost eight years now – you’ve got to prove yourself. And that’s the great thing about the NFL, is you have opportunity, and whenever you have an opportunity to prove yourself, I think you should take full advantage of it. So, I’m looking forward to that,” Dumervil told BaltimoreRavens.com.

For the NFL world champions, former All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis has retired. But the Ravens defense, including Dumervil, will still be formidable. Inside linebacker Terrell Suggs will take up the leadership mantle from Lewis and will get help from nose tackle Haloti Ngata.

As far as which team might prevail in this first NFL matchup, four of the five game analysts for NFL.com are going with the Broncos. The majority of analysts on ESPN.com are also siding with Denver over the Ravens.

Other big matchups in the NFL opening weekend include the return of Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III from injury as Washington meets the Philadelphia Eagles Monday night. On Sunday, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton returns from a one-year suspension for player bounties as the Saints host the Atlanta Falcons in an early NFC South meeting, Green Bay travels to San Francisco to play the 49ers, and the New York Giants play the Cowboys in Dallas Sunday night.

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