The Super Bowl champions took a 17-14 lead into half-time but then fell victim to one of the great quarterback performances of all time.
Check out all the action as it happened, in the commentary below.
1amGood morning and welcome to the NFL season opener between the Denver Broncos and the Super Bowl champions Baltimore Ravens from Mile High Stadium.
1.01amIt has been 214 days since the Super Bowl when John Harbaugh's side defeated the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 to lift their second Lombardi Trophy.
1.02amHowever, it has been an off-season of change at the Ravens as inspirational leader Ray Lewis retired following their victory whole other key pieces, All-Pro safety Ed Reed left in free agency to join the Houston Texans while Anquan Boldin was traded to the 49ers.
1.04amThe Ravens, as they've always done have restocked their roster with quality and one area to watch will be Elvis Dumervil. The veteran pass rusher left the Broncos in bizarre circumstances after failing to fax his contract to the club in time and as a result was released. The Ravens picked him up and paired with Terrell Suggs, the duo could be a devastating combination this season.
1.06amAlso added were safeties Michael Huff in free agency and Matt Elam through the Draft. The Ravens suffered slightly last year with the position but with the quality they've added along with the players already on the roster, their secondary could be a solid unit this year.
1.08amOne area where Harbaugh's side could struggle this season is at receiver. Boldin was Joe Flacco's go-to man during the playoffs last season and was integral to their Super Bowl win. He was traded to the 49ers and hasn't been replaced. A lot will be expected of Torrey Smith this season especially after outstanding tight end Dennis Pitta suffered a dislocated hip during training camp and is unlikely to return until later in the season.
1.10amSpeaking of Flacco, he signed a huge contract in the off-season boosted by his MVP performance in the Super Bowl. He was a free agent going into last season and the Ravens took a chance on getting him on the cheap, that didn't work out the way they'd hoped but at least they have a Lombardi to show for it. Flacco is now the second highest paid quarterback in the NFL and was for a time top dog before Aaron Rodgers was handed his new deal in Green Bay. Flacco will be under pressure to produce again this season, and without Boldin it will be interesting to see who he turns to on his receiving corps to get him out of trouble.
1.13amNow, lets turn our attention to the Broncos. Their season ended in disappointment last year on his ground to the same opposition as a costly late mistake from safety Rahim Moore allowed Jacoby Jones to tie the scores in the Divisional Round playoff game. Peyton Manning then threw an interception in over-time and Justin Tucker kicked a game-winning field goal.
1.15amIt was yet another playoff defeat for Manning, whose record in the post-season fell to 9-11, a shocking stat for a player of his calibre. The Broncos reacted to losing that game by landing a key free agent at receiver in Wes Welker. The New England Patriots shocked the NFL by allowing Tom Brady's favourite target to leave in free agency and the Broncos wasted no time in snapping him up on a two-year deal.
1.17amIf you add Welker to the outstanding receivers the Broncos already have at their disposal, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, you can see why the Broncos are a lot of people's pick for the Super Bowl this season, with Manning pulling the strings.
1.19amDefensively one area of concern for the Broncos will be their pass rush, as previously mentioned Dumervil left in the off-season to join the Ravens. However, the recent suspension of All-Pro Von Miller is a huge blow, as he will miss the opening six games of the season. Shaun Phillips arrived from San Diego, but with a slightly suspect secondary the Broncos could be in trouble early on and will have to rely on Manning's high-powered offense to get them out of trouble.
1.22amThe inactive players have been announced and we'll start with the home side.
1.23amDENVER INACTIVES: Bailey, Jammer, Dysert, Moffitt, Kuper, Dreessen, Anderson
1.23amBALTIMORE INACTIVES: Mellette, Thompson, A. Jones, Williams, Simon, Reid, Jensen
1.24amAs expected there is no Champ Bailey for the Broncos tonight after he was declared out with a foot injury. Fellow, cornerback Quentin Jammer is also inactive, with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Chris Harris expected to start. Elsewhere on the offensive line Chris Kuper and John Moffitt miss out with injury, and that could be something to watch as the Broncos are already on their third centre of the year after JD Walton and Dan Koppen were injured during training camp. Finally, tight end Joel Dreessen misses out with Julius Thomas expected to start.
1.26amNo surprises in the Ravens inactives, as the only expected starter Arthur Jones is out with an illness. Guard Jah Reid has fallen down the pecking order in training camp so misses the cut tonight.
1.29amReports suggest that kick off has been delayed in Denver due to a passing storm. Kickoff is now being scheduled for 1.55am BST.
1.33amJust to bring back memories of the last clash between the two sides. Here is Flacco's Hail Mary pass to Jones in the Divisional Playoff from January.
1.36amYes, kickoff is definitely delayed for another 10 minutes or so. There is adverse weather conditions heading towards Mile High Stadium, including lightning so the referees have rightly delayed the start.
1.38amJust a note on why we are at Denver rather than Baltimore. The season opener is usually played at the home of the previous season's Super Bowl winner. However, due to MLB side the Baltimore Orioles' home game, the NFL was forced to shift the opener to Denver.
1.40amAnyway, while we are waiting, I'll hit you with some stats from last season.
1.42amComparing the quarterbacks last season. Manning had one of the best years of his career, arguably. He had 37 touchdowns to 11 interception and threw for 4,659 yards. Whereas Flacco had, 22 touchdowns to 10 interceptions, while he had only 3,817 yards. The post-season is where they differed, as Flacco threw 11 touchdowns and no interceptions, while in his one game Manning threw three touchdowns and two interceptions against the Ravens.
1.45amMore news, the national anthem will be sung at 1.52am BST, so we could be underway at about 2am BST hopefully. As ever, we'll keep you updated as best as we can.
1.49amOne thing, overlooked earlier, is the return of Ravens cornerback Ladarius Webb. He missed the majority of the last campaign with an ACL tear but is now back in action. He was a real shutdown corner for the Ravens in the 2011 season and if he can get back to his best form this year it will be huge for Harbaugh's side.
1.52amThe same can also be said for Terrell Suggs, he came back for the playoffs last season but was effectively on one leg after tearing his Achilles in the 2012 off-season. He was Defensive Player of the Year in 2011 and if he gets back to where he was then, the Ravens will be one of the best defensive units in the league.
1.54amLooking at the Broncos again and another storyline is the overhaul of their running backs. Last season's number one Willis McGahee was released, meaning rookie Montee Ball and veterans Knowshon Moreno and Ronnie Hillman will battle it out for the starting job. Reports suggest it will be Hillman but Ball impressed during pre-season, so that is something to monitor as the season progresses.
1.56amKickoff is now expected at 2.10am BST. The weather has finally cleared in Denver and there's still a few onfield things to be done beforehand but hopefully we should be underway shortly. If Twitter is anything to go by, blame the Orioles.
1.59amI don't know what it is with the Ravens and delays. In the Super Bowl their game was delayed because of a power cut and now their season opener is delayed because of too much electricity. Bizarre!
2.03amWe have players on the field now as the Ravens and Broncos enter the Mile High Stadium pitch. At last!
2.06amThe Denver Broncos will be playing in their orange uniforms tonight just as they were in their AFC Divisional clash in January, while the Ravens will be in their white uniforms.
2.11amCOIN TOSS RESULT! The Broncos won the coin toss and deferred meaning the Ravens and Joe Flacco will get the ball first.
2.13amMatt Prater will kickoff to Jacoby Jones. Let's get the season underway!
Q1 15.00Prater kicks the ball out of endzone and the Ravens will start at the 20.
Q1 13:29The Ravens go three and out on their first drive of the night. First Ray Rice gets hauled down for a loss on a play-action pass by Wesley Woodyard, the next play Rice is stopped on a run for no gain. While on the final play the Ravens get penalised for pass interference which the Broncos decline as Flacco's pass to Brandon Stokley was stopped short of the first down marker.
Q1 13:10The Broncos start on their 23 after a good punt by Sam Koch.
Q1 12:21Manning picks up a first down with a lovely throw to Welker, for his first reception as a Bronco. He beats Chykie Brown in coverage and reaches with the ball over the first down marker.
Q1 11:16Denver try a running play with Moreno but he gets stuffed by the Ravens defense. A pass from Manning is then nearly picked off by Webb when looking for Demaryius Thomas. The drive comes to end when a pass from Manning falls incomplete as he looked to find Decker.
Q1 11:03Colquitt punts and hits a good one as Jones calls for a fair catch. He loses sight of the ball and runs away but before Denver can ground it, the ball rolls into the endzone. Flacco and co will again start at the 20.
Q1 10:53The Ravens pick up their first down as Bernard Pierce comes into the game and gets 13 yards on the ground as he bounces on the left side. His side move to the 33-yard line.
Q1 9:43Pierce picks up four yards on the ground again, but Flacco's pass to Jones falls incomplete. However, on third down he comes up big with a completion to Smith, who moves the Ravens to the Broncos 30.
Q1 8:34Another big play for the Ravens as Flacco finds Jones on a slant route on second and three. They move to the 14 and are nearing the endzone.
Q1 7:17Flacco gets away with really bad throw throwing back across his body looking for Dickson. Woodyard was close to picking it off. However, he comes back with a big completion on third down to Smith, who shrugs off Tony Carter to pick up another first down.
Q1 7:11TOUCHDOWN RAVENS!!!
Q1 7:11The Ravens take the lead on a lovely play-action pass, as Flacco fakes to Rice and finds Vonta Leach in the flat, who powers over Woodyard into the end zone. Harbaugh's side look good so far, can Manning answer?
Q1 7:11Tucker adds the extra point and the Ravens take a 7-0 lead. The scoring drive was 10 plays and 80 yards.
Q1 7:11Tucker kicks the ball out of endzone this time and the Broncos will start on the 20.
Q1 6:04The Broncos get going on offense as Manning find Welker for a big completion on third down. They move to the 40.
Q1 5:05Another big catch for Welker, as he beats Corey Graham in coverage on slant route. He drives the Broncos to the 45 on the Ravens side of the field. He's already paying dividends for John Fox's side.
Q1 3:47The Broncos drive comes to end, as Webb breaks up a pass from Manning looking for Demaryius Thomas on a crossing route. Their offense isn't quite clicking at the minute.
Q1 3:42Colquitt punts again and Jones fields it at the 10, where Flacco and co will look to form another scoring drive. He has completed 7 of 9 passes so far, for 64 yards, and of course on touchdown.
Q1 3:42Compare that with Manning so far and he is 5 of 9 for 44 yards. Four of those have been to his new receiver Welker.
Q1 2:38The Ravens are rolling again, Rice picks up a big gain on second down for eight yards in a tight spot and Flacco finds him again on third down, as he reaches the first down marker and some more to drive his team forward.
Q1 1:28Flacco is carving the Broncos apart here, he finds Jones again for a big gain with a slant route. They move to their 37.
Q1 0:00The first quarter ends with the Ravens looking a tricky third down conversion on 3 and 12, after a screen to Rice is blown up by a good tackle from Woodyard and another short pass to Jones is stopped by safety Duke Ihenacho.
Q2 14:55The Ravens' drive ends as Dickson drops the ball following a hit from Mike Adams. The task was made harder after Smith received a penalty for a false start, making it 3 and 17.
Q2 14:51Koch punts and does a good job as he pins them at their 29.
Q2 13:30A break for the Broncos as they receive a penalty on third down for illegal contact on Welker by Graham. They move to the 36.
Q2 13:08The Broncos' drive stalls and it almost gets worse for them as Manning's pass is nearly intercepted by Daryl Smith but he can't quite gather the ball. Manning doesn't look all that great at the minute, the offense looks really out of sync.
Q2 13:02Jacoby Jones leaves the field for the Ravens after Brynden Trawick runs into him when he tries to field the punt. Ravens begin on their 15.
Q2 11:40INTERCEPTION DENVER!!!
Q2 11:40Flacco's pass is intercepted by Chris Harris when he was looking for Stokeley. Denver will get the ball on the 26.
Q2 11:35TOUCHDOWN BRONCOS!!!
Q2 11:35Manning gets Denver on the board as throws a 24-yard strike to Julius Thomas who walks into the end zone. A great throw down the seam by Manning to find his tight end, who was wide open.
Q2 11:35Prater kicks the extra point and Denver tie things up at 7-7 after the takeaway.
Q2 11:35Going back to the interception. It wasn't a great throw by Flacco but Stokley didn't get any separation and Harris made an excellent diving catch.
Q2 10:43Flacco comes up big after failing to find an open Dickson on second down. He fires to Dallas Clark in the flat as Rodgers-Cromartie fails to make the interception and he drives to the 50.
Q2 9:35The Ravens move the chains again as Ihenacho hold Smith during a play and the visitors move another five yards.
Q2 8:18Flacco's drive comes to an end. A penalty on first down on Osemele is quickly erased on a screen to Rice, but Marlon Brown can't find the ball on deep pass from the QB.
Q2 8:16Welker fumbles the punt on the two-yard line for the Broncos and Chykie Brown recovers the ball. A huge moment in this game potentially.
Q2 8:04TOUCHDOWN RAVENS!!!!
Q2 8:04Rice goes over from two-yards out into the endzone, as he burst a run outside to right and jumps over Woodyard, who was cleared out by a fine block from Leach.
Q2 8:04Tucker kicks the extra point and the Ravens regain the lead. It's 14-7 to Harbaugh's side.
Q2 8:02The Broncos will start on their 20 as Tucker kicks through the endzone again.
Q2 7:45Manning fires straight away as he and Demaryius Thomas link up on a comeback route beating Jimmy Smith, to move his team to the 32.
Q2 6:17Another first down for the Broncos this time all through Moreno, as he picks up a yard on first down, goes seven on second with a short pass from Manning. He drives through a crowd of players to pick up a tough yard to give his side another set of downs on third. Good stuff from Moreno.
Q2 5:45Manning fires and Julius Thomas does well to coast past Huff and pick up 44 yards before he's brought down on the 23. Denver rolling now!
Q2 5:34TOUCHDOWN BRONCOS!!!!
Q2 5:34Manning gets his second strike of the game and he finds that man Julius Thomas down the middle of the field for a 23 yard touchdown as Ihedigbo misses a tackle on the goalline. Lovely stuff from Manning as he fooled the Ravens defense with play-action.
Q2 5:34Prater kicks the extra point and we're all level at 14-14 at Mile High Stadium.
Q2 5:30The Ravens start on the 20 but they're without Jones and Oher due to injury.
Q2 4:18The drive is over in a flash as Flacco takes a sack on first down as he runs into Ayers, for a nine yard loss. Pierce runs for four on second, and needing 15 on third down he can't find Clark.
Q2 4:18The Ravens are penalised heavily on the punt as Ihedigbo and McClellan give away holding and personal fouls. Denver will start at their 50.
Q2 4:05Slight delay as a pass from Manning looked to be complete but the ball was proved to have hit the ground beforehand. Second and 10 for the Broncos at the 50.
Q2 3:37SACK!! Suggs sacks Manning to end the Broncos' drive. Clady had previously given away a penalty on a false start to give them the hard task of 3 and 15. Webb collects Colquitt's punt at the 15 for the Ravens.
Q2 2:00Flacco drives his side forward as Marlon Brown makes a crucial catch on third down after Rice had picked six on second. A big drive in the context of the game here!
Q2 1:30Flacco fire a big strike to Marlon Brown again as he moves the chains and keeps going for 23 yards.
Q2 0:50A great blitz pickup by the Ravens's offensive line gives Flacco time to find Clark down the middle to pick up another first down. The Ravens are rolling here.
Q2 0:30A good catch from Smith and a driving run from Rice moves the Ravens to the Broncos' 8. Another scoring chance here for the visitors for sure!
Q2 0:25Cornerback Kayvon Webster does extremely well to break up a sure touchdown for Stokley as he just gets his hand to the ball in time.
Q2 0:09DROPPED!! Clark drops the ball on the goalline as he looked certain to go into the endzone for touchdown. That could be huge in this game!
Q2 0:07FIELD GOAL RAVENS!! Tucker knocks the ball through the posts to give the Ravens the lead again. 17-14 with seven seconds left in the half.
Q2 0:00Manning takes a knee to end the half.
Q2 0:00HALF-TIME: Denver Broncos 14-17 Baltimore Ravens
3.52amSo the Ravens lead at the break. They just about deserve to be ahead but the first half has been short of quality bar a few moments from Julius Thomas, as the scores have mostly come off mistakes from both sides.
3.54amFlacco and Manning have not been at their best in this game, with the Ravens man throwing a pick, while the Broncos signal caller's arm strength hasn't quite been there.
3.56amJulius Thomas has been the high point for the home side, as he notched two touchdowns. The first, he was wide open but did well to power himself into the endzone. He created his second with a 44 yard catch and run, before Manning found him again one play later as he took advantage of a breakdown in coverage.
3.58amIt has all been about Ray Rice and Vonta Leach for the Ravens. They've made the two crucial plays for them as the receivers have had their moments but they've been few and far between for John Harbaugh's liking.
Q3 15:00Tuckers kicks off the second half and drills the ball out of the endzone, Denver will start at the 20.
Q3 14:10The Broncos convert on third down as Welker gets catches an eight yard throw from Manning, but replays show the ball had dropped short. However, there was no challenge from Harbaugh.
Q3 13:40The Ravens pay for their bad call, as Demaryius Thomas takes the ball 34 yard down field in the next play and sets his side up in the Baltimore half.
Q3 12:37TOUCHDOWN DENVER!!!
Q3 12:37Denver take the lead for the first time in the game, as Manning throws a bomb down the sideline, which Andre Caldwell catches in stride and takes it into the endzone for a 28 yard TD.
Q3 12:37Prater kicks the extra point and the Broncos go up 21-17.
Q3 12:30That was a costly missed call by Harbaugh there on third down. That Clark drop is also looking worse by the minute.
Q3 11:50A three and out for the Ravens and another costly drop this time from Dickson stops them converting on second. On third the Broncos got to Flacco with the rush as Shaun Phillips got the sack.
Q3 11:08BLOCKED PUNT!!!!
Q3 11:08David Bruton comes up big for the Broncos as he rushes through the line and blocks Koch's punt, however, the Ravens gather it and Manning will start at the 10.
Q3 10:38TOUCHDOWN DENVER!!!
Q3 10:38The Broncos get another touchdown, this time Manning finds Welker in the flat, who spins Graham and goes over from five yards out. He becomes the first player to catch a TD from Tom Brady and Manning.
Q3 10:38Prater kicks the extra point and the Broncos lead by 11, what a turnaround to start the half.
Q3 9:14The Ravens can't fight back at the Broncos, as Clark drops another pass on third down as he takes an almighty hit from Moore. They need to get something going quickly.
Q3 9:14Koch gets his punt away this time and the Broncos will start on the 30.
Q3 8:18Manning is rolling now, as he find Hillman on back-to-back plays for 27 yards and then finds Julius Thomas for 13 more and lines the Broncos up at the Baltimore 15.
Q3 6:43TOUCHDOWN DENVER!!!
Q3 6:43Manning throws a beauty to Decker in the endzone but he drops the ball. Next play he goes back to Welker, who is wide open on the right and he takes the catch for his second TD and Manning's fifth of the night. Prater kicks the extras for the Broncos. 35-17
Q3 5:23Another three and out for the Ravens, by my calculations they haven't mustered a first down this half as Rice is stopped on a third and two by Derek Wolfe.
Q3 3:18A rarity as the Ravens stop the Broncos, Canty comes up big with a sack of Manning and he underthrows Welker on third down to end the drive. On the result punt, Jimmy Smith puts his team in trouble with a reckless personal foul against Trindon Holliday.
Q3 1:53The Ravens finally get a first down as Clark catches a 15 yarder from Flacco. However, they can't string a drive together as Marlon Brown drops a ball straight on his hands and Bruton comes in with late hit on Flacco to force another incompletion.
Q3 0:50Another defensive stand from the Ravens as they stop Manning on a three and out, as Franklin commits a holding penalty on third down.
Q3 0:15Flacco still can't get anything going with his offense as he misses with throws to Smith on the outside and Stokley down the middle seam. The Broncos bring pressure on third down and Phillips gets his second sack of the night to kill the drive.
Q4 14:56Welker runs Koch's punt back to the 46 yard line before he's tripped by his own man. He was close to going to house there.
Q4 14:00The Broncos are driving again as Manning finds Welker and Decker with quick strikes to drive them to the 30 yard line of the Ravens.
Q4 13:19TOUCHDOWN DENVER!!
Q4 13:19Manning gets his sixth touchdown of the night!! This time he throws a beauty over the head of Webb in coverage right into the hands of Demaryius Thomas, who steps into the endzone for six more points. Prater kicks the extras and it's 42-17.
Q4 13:19STAT ATTACK!! This is greatest amount of passing touchdowns a quarterback has ever thrown against the Ravens in a single game.
Q4 13:00The Ravens get the ball on the 20 and they fall just short of getting a first down as Stokely just can't extend enough to get the yardage. Harbaugh keeps his offense out and they are set to go for it on fourth down.
Q4 12:06INTERCEPTION DENVER!!
Q4 12:06Oh my word, what a bizarre incident. Flacco throws an interception straight into the hands of Trevathan, who runs the ball back into the endzone. However, he drops the ball before he crosses the line and Stokley gathers the ball and the referee rules a touchback, so the Ravens have the ball on offense again.
Q4 11:06Flacco gets his side going finally. He finds Smith and then Clark, who drives the ball over the halfway line but fumbles. Fortunately for him, he's grabbed by the facemask and the referee awards a penalty to the Ravens.
Q4 10:32TOUCHDOWN RAVENS!!
Q4 10:32Flacco gets a TD back for the Ravens as he finds Marlon Brown in the endzone on the left, beating Harris in coverage. Tucker adds the extra point. 42-24 to the Broncos.
Q4 8:53Oh is the comeback on as Denver go three and out after running the ball three times with Ball. Ngata comes up big on third down with the stop. Webb collects the punt and gets to the 29.
Q4 6:45Flacco hits Smith on a huge third down play down the right sideline for 30 yards and then hits Stokely for 12 more to move to the Denver 17.
Q4 5:33The Ravens advance to the 13 as Leach collects a pass from Flacco on the run. It is fourth and four and the Ravens decided to kick a field goal.
Q4 5:29FIELD GOAL RAVENS!!! Tucker kicks the ball through the posts and makes it a two score game. It's 42-27, in the home side's favour.
Q4 4:30TOUCHDOWN DENVER!!!
Q4 4:30Manning ties the record for the most TD's ever thrown in a single game as he throws a screen pass to Demaryius Thomas, who runs away from every Ravens defender for a 78 yarder to make this an absolute rout. What a performance by Manning.
Q4 4:30STAT ATTACK!! This is the highest number of points the Baltimore Ravens have ever conceded.
Q4 2:19Flacco gets sacked again and fumbles the ball and his drive ends however Wagner recovers. Phillips got another sack taking his total to 2.5 for the night.
Q4 2:00Ball carries and takes the clock down to the two minute warning. Expect the Broncos to kneel this one out and kill the clock.
Q4 1:02Demaryius Thomas picks up a first down and that should be that.
Q4 0:00FULL-TIME: Denver Broncos 49-27 Baltimore Ravens
5.55amWhat a performance by Peyton Manning as he equals the most TD's ever thrown by a quarterback in a single game. He joins Sid Luckman, Adrian Burk, George Blanda, Y.A. Tittle and Joe Kapp to reach the record. He threw five in the second half as his offense dominated the Ravens as they conceded the highest amount of points in their history.
5.58amThat drop on the goalline by Dallas Clark at the end of the first half turned out to be crucial but maybe not as costly as the decision by John Harbaugh not challenging a completion to Wes Welker early in the second half, which was shown to have hit the ground before it reached him, which started the rout for the Broncos.
6.00amThere were huge receiving games for Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas and Wes Welker as they all scored two touchdowns, while Andre Caldwell grabbed the other. The Broncos were predicted to have an high scoring team before the season and they've proved that today. Beware the Broncos this season.
6.03amThe Ravens looked lost out there on defense without Ray Lewis and Ed Reed and they will need to bounce back after this defeat quickly to avoid a Super Bowl hangover.
6.05amThat just about wraps everything up from us. Thanks for joining us this morning and be sure to check back for all the action as the rest of the NFL gears up for Sunday. Till then, goodbye.