Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith didn't try to cast his team's 26-24 win over the Lions at Ford Field on Sunday as anything more than what it was -- a game that kept his team's slim playoff hopes alive. Those hopes died later in the afternoon when the Minnesota Vikings beat the Green Bay Packers 37-34 and knocked the Bears out.
It wasn't much consolation, but the Steelers did manage to get an ugly win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday to wrap up their first non-playoff season since 2009. The Browns aren't participating in the postseason either, and the housecleaning may begin in Cleveland on Monday.
In a topsy-turvy game with no playoff implications, Carolina beat the Saints 44-38 on Sunday in the Superdome, rallying for 28 consecutive points in the second half behind a career-high 210 rushing yards from DeAngelo Williams to clinch second place in the NFC South.