DETROIT - Like many NFL players, Kyle Orton seems to love playing the Detroit Lions. Orton set career highs in passing yards, completions and quarterback rating while throwing two touchdowns to lead the Chicago Bears to a 34-7 win over Detroit on Sunday.
Chicago Bears quarterback Kyle Orton throws against the Detroit Lions in the second quarter of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2008.
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
He was 24-of-34 for 334 yards and had a 121.4 rating, improving to 3-0 against the Lions.
Chicago (3-2) broke a first-place tie with the Green Bay Packers, who lost at home to Atlanta, to lead the lackluster NFC North with about one-third of the season completed.
The Lions (0-4) look like the might have trouble winning a game any time soon, and the move they made to fire team president Matt Millen appears to be moot because of the mess he left behind.
Chicago built a 31-0 lead before rookie Kevin Smith scored for the Lions midway through the third quarter.
Detroit played fourth-year quarterback Dan Orlovsky in the third quarter for the first time in his career, but it wasn't immediately clear if the move was made because Jon Kitna was hurt.
Orlovsky was 13-of-26 for 97 yards — all career highs — and threw an interception. Kitna was 8-of-16 for 74 yards and fumbled on the Lions' fourth possession after losing 4 yards on the first three possessions.
Bears rookie Matt Forte scored on a 9-yard reception to make it 10-0 in the second quarter and his 1-yard run early in the third made it 24-0.
Orton connected with Devin Hester for a touchdown late in the second quarter and Charles Tillman intercepted a pass that went off Roy Williams' hands and returned it for a score, giving the Bears a 31-0 lead early in the third.
It was a familiar start for Detroit.
The Lions trailed 21-0 in their first two games and 21-3 in the third, leading to Millen's firing during a bye week that ended his era with an NFL-worst 31-84 mark since 2001. Detroit has been outscored 38-0 in the first quarter this season.
Chicago had its most lopsided win on the road against the Lions since winning 42-14 in 1948.
The Bears were without two key players on defense, cornerback Nathan Vasher to injury and defensive tackle Tommie Harris because of a team suspension, but they didn't have any trouble slowing down Detroit.
Orton did plenty when Chicago had the ball to enjoy his accomplishments.
He surpassed his previous records of 22 completions and 268 yards passing — both of which he reached last month against Tampa Bay — and a 103.3 rating, which he set in a 38-6 win over the Lions at home in 2005.