Marino Better, Colts the Same in Dolphin Win

<i> From Times Wire Services </i>

Dan Marino, celebrating his 24th birthday Sunday by leading the Miami Dolphins to a 30-13 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, said he still has a way to go before he fully recovers from a 37-day walkout because of a contract dispute.

Marino threw for 329 yards and two touchdowns, which was a big improvement over last week, when he completed only 13 of 24 passes for 159 yards and no touchdowns and threw two interceptions in a loss to Houston.

“I played much better, but I made a couple of bad decisions on where to throw the ball,” said Marino, who completed 29 of a club-record 48 passes against the Colts. “I was able to make some throws this week, while in some cases last week I didn’t.”

Marino, whose touchdown passes were six yards to Mark Clayton in the second quarter and three yards to Nat Moore in the fourth, said he had difficulty playing in the 84-degree heat.

“I’m in good shape, but I felt tired at times,” he said. “It’s difficult going out and playing a whole game in the heat down here.”


Miami Coach Don Shula said he wasn’t completely pleased with the Dolphins’ effort.

“I didn’t think we played close to the way we’re going to have to play,” he said. “There were some good and some not so good things (about Marino’s performance). But that wasn’t just Marino. That was the whole football team.”

Indianapolis Coach Rod Dowhower, whose Colts fell to 0-2, said Marino’s ability to go to his secondary receivers spelled trouble for his secondary.

“We wanted to contain Marino deep and had a lot of double coverage, but he hit other receivers often enough to move them.”

Marino was booed when he first trotted onto the field and again when his first pass was behind Mark Duper. But he connected on the next two attempts and the 53,693 fans at the Orange Bowl were suddenly on his side.

“I was not worried about the crowd reaction,” said the third-year quarterback. “I just go out and try to do my job the best I can.”

Three Dolphin drives stalled deep in Colt territory, forcing Miami to call on kicker Fuad Reveiz for field goals of 22, 25 and 40 yards.

The Colts, beaten 45-3 last week by Pittsburgh, stayed close for three quarters. They led 7-6 after a two-yard touchdown pass from Mike Pagel to Pat Beach in the second quarter, and trailed only 16-7 at the end of three quarters.