It was a Merry Christmas for one NFL team, even though it wasn't playing on Sunday. The Atlanta Falcons are playoff bound, despite resting comfortably at home on this festive of days. Thanks to the Green Bay Packers win over the Chicago Bears, the Falcons are in as a wildcard team, joining the Detroit Lions. The Bears, on the other hand, are eliminated from the playoffs -- the proverbial lump of coal in the stocking -- after falling to the Packers at Lambeau Field, 35-21.
Aaron Rodgers was his usual self, throwing for 283 yards and five touchdowns before being lifted for Matt Flynn. Jordy Nelson and James Jones each caught two touchdowns; Nelson also led all receivers with six catches for 115 yards. Jermichael Finley caught the first of Rodgers' touchdown passes as the Packers took a lead they'd never relinquish.
Josh McCown actually performed admirably for the Bears, passing for 242 yards and a touchdown, but also throwing two interceptions. The Bears leaned heavily on Khalil Bell in an effort to take the pressure off McCown, and it showed. Bell was over the century mark, rushing for 121 yards, but failed to find the end zone, as well.
Green Bay is now 14-1 heading into the final week of play, with only last week's loss to Kansas City serving as a blemish on the record. With Atlanta locking up its playoff bid, only one NFC spot remains in question, with the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys playing for the NFC East title next Sunday night.