Looking at the enemy: Denver Broncos

Looking at the enemy: Denver Broncos
May 2, 2013, 10:00 pm
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Now that the schedule is set and the draft is over, it's time to take a closer look at each of the Ravens 2013 opponents. 

Week 1: Denver Broncos

Date: Thursday, Sept. 5, 8:30 p.m.

Site: Sports Authority Field at Mile High

2012 Record: 13-3, AFC West champion; lost to Ravens in AFC Divisional Round game

Key offseason losses: LB Elvis Dumervil (to Ravens); LB D.J. Williams (to Bears)

Key additions:  LB Stewart Bradley, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, DT Terrance Knighton, G Louis Vasquez, WR Wes Welker

Top 5 draft picks: DT Sylvester Williams (1st round, North Carolina); RB Montee Ball (2nd round, Wisconsin); CB Kayvon Webster (3rd round, South Florida); DE Quanterus Smith (5th round, Western Kentucky); WR Tavarres King (5th round, Georgia)

Overview: The Broncos' biggest offseason move was also one of the more bizarre in recent memory, with a faulty fax machine blamed for the loss of pass rushing linebacker Elvis Dumervil. The Broncos and Dumervil had reportedly hammered out the details of a reworked contract that would have cut Dumervil's salary from $12 million to $8 million for the 2013 season. But the deal was never signed, sealed and delivered, so moments before the original $12 million would have become guaranteed, the Broncos cut Dumervil.

Dumervil's agent -- make that his former agent -- blamed the delay on a faulty fax machine. Dumervil hit the free agent marketplace, and the Ravens pounced, signing him to a five-year deal.

The Broncos, though, did score a free agency coup when they lured Wes Welker away from New England, and bolstered the offensive line in front of Peyton Manning with the signing of former Chargers guard Louis Vasquez. Terrance Knighton, who had played for Broncos assistant coach Jack Del Rio in Jacksonville, will help strengthen the Broncos defense up front, as will top draft pick Sylvester Williams.

The atmosphere for this Week 1 game should be supercharged. It will be the season opener on national TV. It will mark the return of Elvis Dumervil to Denver. And, of course, it will be a rematch of that epic double-overtime AFC Divisional Round game, the one where Joe Flacco hit Jacoby Jones with the Mile High Miracle, the Prayer in Thin Air, or whatever other nickname people use to describe the 70-yard bomb in the closing seconds that forced overtime and ultimately led to the Ravens' 38-35 win. 

The rematch should be outstanding. Heck, the NFL has already put out a snazzy movie trailer to promote it.