The Baltimore Colts remained perfect today. They lost again and finished the National Football League's shortened season as its worst team, the only winless team among 28.
The Miami Dolphins routed the Colts, 34-7, before 19,073 at Memorial Stadium. The attendance was increased by a walk-up sale of more than 4,000 tickets just before the game; there were 2,814 no-shows.
With a 7-2 record, the Dolphins are ready for the playoffs. They are in the playoffs for the fourth time in five years and are assured of a home game in the first round.
All the Colts (0-8-1) are ready for is the draft: they will have the first pick. The Colts, whose only nonloss this season was a 20-20 tie with Green Bay, are 19-53-1 in the last five seasons.
"This was the most disappointing game of the season," said Baltimore Coach Frank Kush. "It was pathetic. I'm sure our effort was there and no one quit, but it was a hopeless situation. We were overmatched.
"Truthfully, I would have to say I'm glad this season is over.
"Did I say anything to the team?
"I told them good luck, good health and sayonara. What else could I say?"
Quarterback David Woodley completed 14 of 22 passes for 239 yards and three touchdowns to provide virtually all the offense the Dolphins needed.
"We didn't get it early but we wanted to throw some deep balls," said Miami Coach Don Shula. "We were coming off two good wins and we wanted to keep it going to be in the best position for the playoffs."
Agreed Woodley: "We felt we had some guys who could get deep and catch the ball."
There wasn't much difference in total yardage: the Dolphins had 371 yards and the Colts, outrushing the visitors, 157 to 132, had 273.
But the two Baltimore quarterbacks, starter Mike Pagel and backup Art Schlichter, were sacked a total of seven times for 48 yards in losses. Pagel also threw an interception and lost a fumble; Schlichter was intercepted once and lost two fumbles, both after taking vicious hits.
Colts rookie kicker Dan Miller, who almost beat out Washington's Mark Moseley in the preseason and who kicked a team record 58-yard field goal last week against San Diego, missed three relatively easy kicks today from 37, 36 and 34 yards.
"We couldn't do anything right," said Kush. "The first three passes we threw, we dropped, and then we missed the three field goals. Miami just capitalized on all of our inadequacies."
It started out as if this might be the Colts' day. Miami's Andra Franklin, running a sweep to his left, dropped the football and linebacker Gary Bracelin fell on it at Miami's 16. But after a sack, a draw play and a missed field goal, the Dolphins had the ball back.
They didn't fool around this possession as Woodley drove them 80 yards in seven plays for Miami's first score. With second and 11 from his 30, Woodley threw a 14-yarder to Nat Moore and a 45-yarder to Duriel Harris. He completed the drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Moore.
A fumble by Pagel set up a 34-yard field goal by Uwe von Schamann for a 10-0 lead.
The Colts scored early in the second period on an improvised 11-yard touchdown run by Zack Dixon. The play started as a sweep to the right, but Dixon was cut off as he tried to turn the corner and reversed his field, turnig it into a sweep to the left. He got the one block he needed from Ray Butler on Steve Clark at the 10 and sprinted into the end zone for the first rushing touchdown of his professional career.
Miller finally made a kick, converting the extra point to pull the Colts within 10-7 with 1:44 left in the half.
The Dolphins took the kickoff and Woodley moved them 73 yards in eight plays in 71 seconds to give the Dolphins a 16-7 lead at halftime. The touchdown came on a 34-yard pass to Jimmy Cefalo.
The Dolphins took the second-half kickoff and began a 72-yard, nine-play drive, culminating in a one-yard run by Franklin. After that it was just a question of how big the Dolphins' margin of victory would be.
"We would have liked to have won a couple of games . . . one game," said Pagel. "But there isn't anything we can do about it now."