The 2013 National Football League season kicks off Thursday night when the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens visit Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.

As always, the new NFL campaign offers a surplus of intriguing storylines.

Just a few: Does Baltimore have what it takes to repeat after the departure of two defensive cornerstones? Will the NFC champion 49ers be even better with a full season of Colin Kaepernick running the trendy read-option attack? Can electrifying QB Robert Griffin III stay healthy and lift Washington into title contention?

Get ready for kickoff with this gallery of 13 players who will help determine which teams play in Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey.