Packers beat Bears to secure playoff spot

Last updated 10:43 17/12/2012

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The Green Bay Packers secured their place in the National Football League playoffs with a 21-13 win over the Chicago Bears that earned them the NFC North divisional title.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw three touchdowns, all of them to James Jones, as the 2011 Super Bowl winners moved to 10-4 putting them out of reach of the Bears, who slip to 8-6.

After their fifth loss in six games, Chicago's only hope of making the post-season is now via a wild-card, a deeply disappointing situation for a team that started the season 7-1.

Jones scored on 29 and eight yard passes in the second quarter as the Packers took the lead after a 15-yard Jay Cutler pass to Bears receiver Brandon Marshall had opened the scoring.

After the third Rodgers-Jones combination in the third quarter, the Bears could manage only two field goals as their old rivals sealed their second successive divisional title. 

Meanwhile, the Houston Texans won the AFC South title for a second successive year with a 29-17 home win over divisional rivals the Indianapolis Colts.

The Texans (12-2) had already assured themselves of a place in the playoffs. Their victory means the Colts are not yet sure of a wild-card place although at 9-5 they remain in a strong position.

Arian Foster rushed for 165 yards for Houston while Andre Johnson had 151 yards receiving and scored on a three-yard Matt Schaub pass in the first quarter to put the Texans 10-0 up.

The game turned decisively in Houston's direction in the second quarter when Bryan Braman returned a blocked punt eight yards for a touchdown.

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- Reuters

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