April 19, 2013 / 1:40 AM / in 5 years

Super Bowl champs Ravens to face Broncos in season opener

(Reuters) - The Baltimore Ravens begin their Super Bowl defense against Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos in Colorado in a rematch of last season’s thrilling double-overtime playoff match after the National Football League released its schedule on Thursday.

Other opening weekend marquee match ups include the Dallas Cowboys hosting the division-rival New York Giants while the round concludes with a doubleheader on September 9 with the Washington Redskins hosting the Philadelphia Eagles and the Houston Texans visiting the San Diego Chargers.

The NFL’s 32 teams will each play 16 games over 17 weeks while byes will begin in Week 4 and end in Week 12.

For the fourth consecutive year, all 16 games scheduled for the final week of the regular season are division contests, enhancing the potential for more games at the end of the season with playoff ramifications.

Thanksgiving will feature a triple-header - Green Bay heads to Detroit, Oakland visits Dallas and Pittsburgh plays in Baltimore.

Two games will be played at London’s Wembley Stadium next season with the Minnesota Vikings hosting Pittsburgh on September 29, before the Jacksonville Jaguars host the San Francisco 49ers on October 27.

The Buffalo Bills will venture north to Canada for the sixth consecutive season when they host the Atlanta Falcons in Toronto on December 1.

Super Bowl XLVIII is slated for February 2, 2014 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Reporting by Ben Everill in Los Angeles

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