The defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens looked anything but that Thursday night as they lost 49-27 to the Denver Broncos in the 2013 NFL season opener.
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning equaled the all-time NFL record with seven touchdown passes against the Ravens and he finished the game 27-of-42 for 462 yards. Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas each had two touchdown receptions in the win.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who signed a six-year, $120.6 million contract during the offseason, finished the game 34-of-62 for 362 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in the loss.
If the loss wasn’t bad enough, the Ravens also lost wide receiver Jacoby Jones and right tackle Michael Oher to injuries in the first half. Jones suffered a knee injury when teammate Brynden Trawick collided with him while he was preparing to field a punt. Oher left the game with an ankle injury and did not return.
The Ravens now have a few extra days to lick their wounds as they next play the Cleveland Browns a week from Sunday at home.
The Pittsburgh Steelers can take a one game lead in the division on the Ravens this weekend as they will open their 2013 season Sunday at Heinz Field against the Tennessee Titans.