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Rodgers dodges Bears defense as Packers seal NFC crown

Bears cornerback Bowman is charged with holding against Packers wide receiver Jones in the second half during their NFL football game in Gre
Bears cornerback Bowman is charged with holding against Packers wide receiver Jones in the second half during their NFL football game in Gre

(Reuters) - The Green Bay Packers rebounded from the disappointment of missing out on perfection by taking the aerial route to beat the Chicago Bears 35-21 and secure home-field advantage for the National Football League (NFL) playoffs Sunday.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw five touchdown passes for the first time in his career as the Packers showed no lingering ill-effects from last week's shock loss to the Kansas City Chiefs and improved their regular season record to 14-1.

The win ensured the defending Super Bowl champions go into next month's playoffs with both the luxury of a first round bye and home-field advantage for weeks two and three after wrapping up the number one seed in the NFC.

Chicago's defeat eliminated the Bears (7-8) from the postseason race while guaranteeing the Atlanta Falcons (9-5) a spot in the playoffs before their game against the New Orleans Saints (11-3) Monday.

Rodgers threw a pair of touchdowns to both Jordy Nelson and James Jones, and another to Jermichael Finley before being given a Christmas Day break early in the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field.

"It's been a great season for us, there's a lot of positives," he said in a televised interview. "It was a great night tonight for us, to secure that number one seed."

The final round of the regular season takes place next Sunday with just three of the 12 playoffs spots still up for grabs.

(Reporting by Julian Linden in New York; Editing by John O'Brien)

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