Key Matchups for Super Bowl XLV

Quarterbacks: Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers versus Pittsburgh Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger

In every NFL game, quarterbacks are a key matchup but this one is super-sized and will go a long way toward deciding which team walks away with a championship.

Roethlisberger, with a post-season record of 10-2, has been the ultimate playoff performer and will not be overwhelmed by the big stage as he chases a third Super Bowl ring that would put him among the all-time greats.

Big, mobile and strong, Roethlisberger is tough to bring down and one of the best at extending plays but Big Ben has been unable to escape questions about his character that helped land him a four game suspension to open the season.

Roethlisberger's play has been inconsistent at times but like all the greats he has the uncanny ability to deliver the big play when the game is on the line.

Move over Brett Favre, there is a new king of the Packers Nation and a Super Bowl victory on Sunday would confirm Rodgers's coronation.

Favre's long-time understudy, Rodgers has confidently taken over the leading role since taking over from his future Hall-of-Fame mentor three years ago.

Rodgers has been on fire since returning from a concussion by guiding the Packers to five victories in must-have games, including three straight post-season road victories.

Cool under pressure and self-assured, Rodgers has a cannon arm and quick feet that allow him to improvise on the run when his protection breaks down.

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Defense: Steelers' Troy Polamalu versus Packers' Clay Matthews

The defenses of both teams revolve around these two long-haired masters of mayhem. Deciding who is the better player is like deciding who has the better hair.

Polamalu edged Matthews for defensive player of the year honors but the Packers linebacker came out ahead of the Steelers safety on several other polls.

Bothered by an Achilles injury, the hard-hitting Polamalu has struggled for full fitness late in the season but will be at the center of the action on Sunday.

Despite missing two games due to the injury, Polamalu had seven interceptions this season and is a game changer when on the field.

Soft-spoken and unassuming off the field, the bushy-haired safety transforms into a frenetic, snarling beast once the game begins.

Green Bay's Rodgers must be aware of Polamalu's whereabouts at all times.

"Any time you play a guy like that you have to find where he is on the field," said Rodgers. "He's a guy you have to account for."

Like Polamalu, Matthews is a game changer.

A walk-on at the University of Southern California, Matthews has emerged as one of the NFL's top linebackers registering, 13-1/2 sacks and returned an interception for a touchdown to earn a trip to the Pro Bowl in his second season.