Green Bay Packers

Packers vs. Bears: James Jones' 3 Touchdowns Help Packers Win to Clinch Division

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 16: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers throws a pass against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 16, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistDecember 16, 2012

For a game that seemed a lot closer than it was, the Packers locked up the NFC North with a decisive 21-13 victory over the sliding Chicago Bears.

It wasn't a perfect day by any stretch, with Ryan Grant and Randall Cobb both coughing up the ball, but for the most part the Packers dominated the banged-up Chicago defense and absolutely shut down Jay Cutler and the offense.

The Packers' run game wasn't quite as effective as last week—it took them five players to total over 100 yards—but it did the job, and ultimately, that's all they need to do.

Today's offensive explosion was brought to you by James Jones—all he does is score touchdowns.

All three of his touchdowns looked tremendous, and he did a good job of getting open all day, as did Cobb.

Fumble aside, Cobb was a terror on slant routes (or really any routes) and it's surprising the Packers still don't run them more. Cobb gashed the Bears defense over and over, his speed and agility making it really hard to catch him.

Defensively, the Packers had to be happy to see Clay Matthews back and in the swing of things with five tackles and two sacks.

The Packers need to watch Matthews now that they are locked into the playoffs, but a potential first-round bye is still up in the air, so they can't have him ease back the throttle all that much.

There's work to be done still as they fine-tune for an assured return to postseason play.

Speaking of work to do, what do the Packers do with kicker Mason Crosby? Two more missed field goals didn't kill them this week, but in the playoffs it's the sort of thing that will.

The Packers seem committed to Crosby, but you have to think they will take a long look at the position over the next week now that the playoff berth has been assured.

 

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Follow me on Twitter at @andrew_garda.

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