Sunday will mark the first time in 25 years that the Super Bowl will feature two starting quarterbacks who have previously won league championships and just the fourth time in NFL history that such a quarterback matchup has taken place in the big game.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner will make his third Super Bowl appearance -- his one title coming in the St. Louis Rams' 23-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans in the 1999 season. Warner was named MVP of that game, and his 414 passing yards are still a Super Bowl record.
Ben Roethlisberger possesses a Super Bowl record of his own, though it's likely one the Pittsburgh Steelers' QB would prefer be erased from the Record and Fact Book. In Pittsburgh's 21-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in the 2005 season, Roethlisberger completed just 9 of 21 passes with two interceptions and no touchdowns. His 22.6 passer rating is the lowest for a Super Bowl-winning quarterback.
"I expect it to be different this time," Roethlisberger said. "I'm going to go into it and treat it like it's just another football game and go out and have fun. Don't get too overwhelmed with it."
Roethlisberger finished Pittsburgh's 2005 playoff run 58-of-93 passing for 803 yards and seven touchdowns with three interceptions in four games, all away from Heinz Field.
This season, as AFC North champions, the Steelers had the advantage of hosting both their playoff games. Roethlisberger didn't turn over the ball and recorded a 90.8 passer rating in those games.
Pittsburgh's success in the regular season will make this Super Bowl experience a unique one for Warner. After being favored in his first two Super Bowl appearances, Warner is the underdog this time around.
It has been seven seasons since Warner last played in the Super Bowl -- a 20-17 upset loss at the hands of New England Patriots in the 2001 season. Warner finished 28-of-44 passing for 365 yards and one touchdown in that game, but he also threw two interceptions, including one that Patriots cornerback Ty Law returned 47 yards for a touchdown.
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"I think about the game that we lost more than any game that I've ever played in," Warner said. "That year, we were favored, we were expected to win, and so when you don't win, you feel like you missed an opportunity. You missed an opportunity to make history."
Warner's experience and maturity will go a long way for the Cardinals in this Super Bowl, but just as important has been the level of his play during three playoff wins over the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles this season. Warner has completed over 66 percent of his passes for 770 yards and eight touchdowns with just two interceptions in those games.
In the end, Roethlisberger and Warner will enter Sunday's game with a wealth of experience, but only one quarterback will emerge with his second Super Bowl ring.
"To have the opportunity to win one is an amazing thing," Roethlisberger said. "The opportunity to play for two is great, and if we can win it, even better."