Originally posted on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 12/26/11

As if there was any doubt, we can now announce that the Green Bay Packers are back on track, propelled by another incredible effort from Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers, who looked like a touchdown throwing robot, threw for 283 yards on 21 completions and those included 5, yes 5 touchdowns.

The game itself actually stayed very close into the 3rd quarter. At one point, the Bears had cut the Packers' lead to just 4 points (10-14) before Rodgers and the Packers turned on the after-burners. Rodgers' performance should be the exclamation mark on what is likely to be an MVP season.

The Bears, on the other hand, are now officially out of the playoff race. It's a disappointing end to a season that appeared as if the Bears were getting back to the level of play they reached last season. The importance of Jay Cutler seems to be much clearer, however. His injury de-railed a team with a great running attack and great defense. In its simplest form, the Bears just don't have a backup quarterback who is able to win games, and that's a big problem in the NFL.

Josh McCown had a somewhat impressive night if you don't account for his two turnovers. Of course, it's very hard to judge him based off of a game against the Packers. They give up yards at an unhealthy rate, but the Packers are also very proficient at taking the ball away. Both of those factors were on full display in Lambeau Field tonight.

As I mentioned earlier, the Bears' loss takes them out of playoff contention. The Packers are now 14-1, and they've officially clinched the top seed in the NFC. With a perfect record now impossible, look for them to pull some of their key players *cough* Aaron Rodgers *cough* in week 17 to prevent any key injuries.

Follow @smaclemons on Twitter [follow]

This article first appeared on This Given Sunday and was syndicated with permission.

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