The Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers and will in all likelihood be the team that host the 2013 season opening game. Should that indeed be the case, the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots would be considered the front runners to be their opponent.
The Ravens 2013 home opponents include the Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, and the Houston Texans.
You can easily assume that the Browns, Jets and Vikings won\’t be the team as none of them add the draw that NBC will be looking for. You can also likely rule out the Packers in addition as only once since 2004 has the league scheduled a game between an AFC and an NFC team to kick off a season. Even though the Texans and the Bengals have made the playoffs the last two years, neither adds the sexiness factor, so that leaves us with the Steelers and the Patriots as the two remaining teams to pick from to be the Ravens opening night opponent.
A Steelers-Ravens game certainly would give the draw that NBC is looking for, with a Patriots-Ravens game running a close second. Keep in mind that Ravens have faced the Patriots in the AFC Championship game the last two seasons, so a built-in story line certainly would exist, especially being as the two teams split those games.
The Steelers have opened up their season four times against the Ravens dating back to 1996 and the two teams split those games.