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Brady vs Roethlisberger as Patriots, Steelers clash

•, Rob Woollard

For the first time in the history of the NFL, two starting quarterbacks will have a combined total of seven Super Bowl titles between them when the AFC clash kicks off at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field.

Brady, 40, owns five of those Super Bowl crowns against Roethlisberger's two, a margin of superiority that is echoed in the two veterans' head-to-head record. In nine previous meetings, Brady has won seven times, Roethlisberger twice.

In their most recent encounter, during last season's AFC Conference championship, the Patriots romped to a 36-16 win in Foxborough, their fourth straight victory over the Steelers.

This season, Brady and Roethlisberger are leading the league in passing. Brady has 3,685 yards and 27 touchdowns while Roethlisberger is just behind on 3,744 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Roethlisberger was in no doubt about Brady's place in the pantheon when asked about his long-time adversary this week.

"He's the best in the world," Roethlisberger, 35, said. "Maybe the best who has ever done it. I'm happy to be part of this game."

Yet despite Brady's winning record, the Steelers will head into the game as the form team. With 11 wins and only two defeats this season, a victory for Pittsburgh on Sunday will guarantee Roethlisberger's men home-enjoyedfield advantage throughout the playoffs.

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