Quarterback Mike Pagel threw three touchdown passes--two to tight end Pat Beach--to lead the Indianapolis Colts to a 34-16 victory over the Houston Oilers Sunday in the season finale for both teams.
Indianapolis and Houston each finished with a 5-11 record, marking the Colts' eighth straight losing season and the Oilers' fifth straight.
The victory gave the Colts consecutive wins for the first time since moving from Baltimore before the 1984 season. It was Houston's fourth straight loss and it left the Oilers' interim coach, Jerry Glanville, 0-2 after taking over for fired Hugh Campbell.
Pagel completed touchdown passes of 14 and 20 yards to Beach and a 22-yard touchdown pass to Oliver Williams. In addition, the Colts got touchdown runs from Randy McMillan and Albert Bentley.
Taking advantage of a Houston rushing defense that ranked 27th in the 28-team league, the Colts dominated the Oilers on the ground, with McMillan, Bentley, George Wonsley and Owen Gill doing the bulk of the damage on a combined total of 289 yards.
McMillan led the Colts with 90 yards on 18 rushes, while the top Houston rusher was Mike Rozier with 49 yards on 19 carries.
Only the passing of Houston's Warren Moon kept the Oilers within reach. Moon hit 22 of 40 passes for 364 yards, including nine completions for 210 yards and a pair of touchdowns to wide receiver Drew Hill. The scoring passes to Hill covered 40 and 14 yards, respectively.
An interception in the end zone and two defensive stands inside the 10-yard line by the Colts shut off three fourth-quarter Houston drives.
Pagel completed 14 of 22 passes for 178 yards.