The Patriots and Ravens have played in some monstrous games in the last few years, so there's reason to believe they could open the 2013 NFL season.

The defending Super Bowl champs customarily open the season at home on Thursday night of Week 1, and the Patriots will visit the Ravens at some point in the 2013 regular season.

Because they've met three times in the last four postseasons, including the last two AFC Championship Games, this should be on the short list of games that the NFL considers for the season opener.

The Ravens are also set to host the Texans, Jets, Packers, Vikings, Steelers, Bengals and Browns in 2013. Many consider the Ravens-Steelers rivalry to be best in football, and the Texans and Jets would also provide plenty of big-time storylines. The Packers draw a huge audience, too.

So, the NFL has its options to create a great matchup for the season opener, and the Patriots should be at the top of that list.

The NFL announced the 2012 schedule last April, so it will be a while before the answer is known.