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Beating the elites: Aaron Rodgers has edge over Peyton Manning, Tom Brady

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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Last November, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, the NFL’s premier quarterbacks, went head-to-head for the first time.

And perhaps for the last time.

Unless the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots meet in a Super Bowl, they won’t play again until 2019, when Brady will be 42 years old.

This Sunday, it’s Rodgers versus Peyton Manning for just the second time in their careers.

Combined, the two have won five of the last seven NFL MVP awards. Sunday night's game in Denver is the kind everyone wants to see and might be one that is remembered for years because of the quarterbacks.

"It'll be fun to play against him one more time," Rodgers said of Manning.

The two have squared off only once, in 2008, when Manning was with the Indianapolis Colts and Rodgers was in his first year as a starter.

That perhaps the two most iconic quarterbacks in the game, Brady and Manning, both play in the AFC means Rodgers' chances of facing them comes only once every four years. He has made his opportunities count, beating Brady and Manning in his only meetings with them.

Rodgers' wins over Manning and Brady aren’t an anomaly. He has a 7-5 record against the game's current elite quarterbacks, a group that also includes Drew Brees, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger.

Here's a look at how Rodgers has performed in those head-to-head matchups:

Rodgers versus Peyton Manning

  • In Rodgers' seventh game as a starter, his defense did most of the work. Nick Collins and Aaron Rouse intercepted Manning, and both returned the picks for touchdowns. Rodgers' lone touchdown pass was a 12-yarder to tight end Donald Lee in a 34-14 win over the Colts on Oct. 19, 2008.

  • Head-to-head: Rodgers -- 21-of-28, 186 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions, 104.2 passer rating. Manning -- 21-of-42, 229 yards, no touchdowns, two interceptions, 73.5 passer rating.

  • Rodgers’ record: 1-0

Rodgers versus Brady

  • Rodgers missed his first chance to play against Brady in 2010, when he suffered a concussion a week earlier and Matt Flynn started. Four years later, they met at Lambeau Field as the game’s top two quarterbacks. Rodgers staked the Packers to a 13-0 lead, threw a pair of long touchdown passes to Richard Rodgers (32 yards) and Jordy Nelson (45 yards), and Green Bay hung on for a 26-21 win.

  • Head-to-head: Rodgers -- 24-of-38, 368 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions, 112.6 passer rating. Brady -- 22-of-35, 245 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions, 102.7 passer rating.

  • Rodgers’ record: 1-0

Rodgers versus Roethlisberger

  • The 2009 game in Pittsburgh was a shootout that the Steelers won 37-36, thanks to a touchdown pass from Roethlisberger as time expired. Roethlisberger threw for 503 yards and Rodgers for 383; each had three touchdowns and no interceptions. They met a little more than a year later in Super Bowl XLV, when Rodgers played one of the best games of his career and was the game’s MVP after throwing for 304 yards and three touchdowns in bringing home a title to Green Bay.

  • Head-to-head: Rodgers -- 50-of-87, 687 yards, six touchdowns, no interceptions, 105.9 passer rating. Roethlisberger -- 54-of-86, 820 yards, five touchdowns, two interceptions, 103.8 passer rating.

  • Rodgers’ record: 1-1

Rodgers versus Eli Manning

  • In the most important of the four games between these two NFC quarterbacks, Manning outplayed Rodgers. It was in the divisional round of the 2011 playoffs after the Packers went 15-1 in the regular season. In a 37-20 Giants upset at Lambeau Field, Manning threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns and one interception. Rodgers was a mediocre 26-of-46 for 264 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

  • Head-to-head: Rodgers -- 93-of-154, 1,256 yards, 11 touchdowns, three interceptions, 102.1 passer rating. Manning -- 77-of-136, 1,227 yards, 11 touchdowns, six interceptions, 95.4 passer rating.

  • Rodgers’ record: 2-2

Rodgers versus Brees

  • Rodgers has never won at the Superdome in New Orleans and has thrown five interceptions during his two starts there. Brees, however, has lost both games against Rodgers at Lambeau Field, including the 2011 Thursday night NFL kickoff game when the Packers were the defending champs.

  • Head-to-head: Rodgers -- 109-of-156, 1,297 yards, 10 touchdowns, six interceptions, 100.3 passer rating. Brees -- 114-of-161, 1,499 yards, 13 touchdowns, no interceptions, 126.8 passer rating.

  • Rodgers’ record: 2-2