CHICAGO, OCT. 14 -- Jim Harbaugh, playing with a cracked rib, passed for two touchdowns and ran for another tonight, leading the Chicago Bears to a 38-9 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

Harbaugh, who was injured last Sunday against Green Bay, completed 18 of 25 passes for a career-high 248 yards as the Bears (5-1) scored on their first four possessions and took a 28-0 halftime lead.

The victory enabled the Bears to retain first place in the NFC's Central Division, one game ahead of Tampa Bay.

The Rams (1-4) came into the game leading the NFL in offense, but were held to 91 yards in the first half. They did not get their offense rolling until the Bears had taken a 31-0 lead.

The Rams also entered the game ranked last in defense and Harbaugh took advantage of their problems.

He threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Neal Anderson to cap an 88-yard opening drive. Moments later, Donnell Woolford intercepted a Jim Everett pass, setting up Harbaugh's 12-yard touchdown run five plays later.

Late in the first quarter, the Rams failed to convert on a fourth and one at the Chicago 38. The Bears marched 62 yards for another touchdown, with Harbaugh passing 18 yards to Ron Morris for the score.

On their next possession, the Rams were faced with a fourth-and-three, failed to convert and the Bears drove 70 yards for another score, with Brad Muster breaking up the middle for 13 yards and the touchdown.

A 27-yard field goal by Kevin Butler made it 31-0 early in the second half before the Rams finally scored. Everett connected on a 53-yard pass to Flipper Anderson before hitting Buford McGee with an 11-yard touchdown pass.