NFC Playoff Picture: Packers Clinch NFC North with Win over Bears

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IDecember 16, 2012

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

For the second consecutive year, the Green Bay Packers are the NFC North champions. They sewed up the division this year with a 21-13 win in Chicago over the Bears in Week 15. 

The Star Tribune's Dan Wiederer tweeted out the news:

And the Packers, it should be noted, have clinched the North. Bears in freefall.

— Dan Wiederer (@StribDW) December 16, 2012

Aaron Rodgers turned in another stellar performance in the win. He finished with 291 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions as they dispatched of their sinking rival.

With the win, the Packers improved to 10-4. That gives them a two-game lead over the Bears and the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings easily handled the Rams on Sunday, 36-22. 

While these teams could all wind up with the same record, it is not going to matter. The Packers are now 5-0 in the division. They have swept the Bears for the season, and while they still have a game remaining against the Vikings, Minnesota already has two division losses. 

While this is a nice feather in the cap for Green Bay, don't expect much celebrating over this title from the Packers. They have their sights set on bigger prizes. That begins with grabbing the best seed possible for the playoffs. 

They are currently the NFC's No. 3 seed, which would find them playing in the first round, but they trail the 49ers by just a half game. The 49ers face a tough challenge as they will play in New England against the Patriots on Sunday Night Football

The Packers don't have to be content with just the No. 2 seed, either.

They still have a chance at taking the conference's No. 1 seed, but they would need to win out and have the 12-2 Falcons lose their remaining two games. That is not likely. The Falcons close out their season against the sinking Lions and Buccaneers

Green Bay will close out the season by hosting the Titans and then traveling to take on the Vikings.