5 things to watch for in NFL opener: Broncos vs. Ravens

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 4 2013 10:37 p.m. MDT

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Joe Flacco looms larger than life in Denver, and not just because he engineered the stunning playoff upset with his 70-yard touchdown throw to Jacoby Jones that tied it at 35 with 31 seconds left in regulation.

The NFL's marketing machine put up gigantic banners of Flacco alongside Peyton Manning on the Broncos' stadium to promote the league's first game of the 2013 season.

Fans are furious, Manning is miffed and Flacco is flummoxed.

Still, Flacco reasoned, "being hated is not a bad thing."

This flag flap could have been avoided had baseball's Orioles moved their game Thursday night to accommodate the champs for a customary home kickoff.

"I'm not too worried about it," Flacco said. "It's not like they're taking a home game away from us. They're just making us play on the road maybe earlier than we wanted to."
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