Indianapolis quarterback Mike Pagel threw three touchdown passes, one in a 21-point second quarter, to rally the Colts to a 35-21 victory over the Houston Oilers today.
Pagel, who completed 15 of 20 passes for 215 yards, threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Ray Butler in the third quarter that extended the Colts' lead to 28-14.
Houston (0-2) cut the lead in the fourth quarter when Earl Campbell scored from one yard. Campbell rushed for 44 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries. Pagel came back with a 33-yard scoring pass to wide receiver Tracy Porter with 5:58 left in the game.
Campbell's touchdown runs of two and 15 yards gave the Oilers the early lead, 14-7. The Colts' 21 second-quarter points came on Pagel's one-yard run (making it 7-7), a 31-yard pass to Butler and Curtis Dickey's nine-yard run.
Oilers cornerback Steve Brown helped Indianapolis (1-1) to its first touchdown with a 36-yard pass interference penalty, giving the Colts a first down at the four.
The Colts scored the go-ahead touchdown quickly, with an 85-yard drive that took less than two minutes. George Wonsley ran 17 yards to the Oilers' 40. Pagel then called two plays in the huddle, a nine-yard run by Dickey followed by the scoring pass to Butler.
Warren Moon completed five of six passes for 80 yards in the first-quarter drive leading to Campbell's two-yard run. Moon completed 20 of 30 passes for 210 yards in the first half, but only three of 13 for 155 yards after intermission.
Campbell's third touchdown run was set up by a 25-yard pass from Moon to Tim Smith and a one-yard run by Campbell on fourth down at the Colts' 33.
Porter finished as the Colts' leading receiver with 91 yards and one touchdown on six receptions. Butler caught five passes for 74 yards and two touchdowns and Dickey ran 22 times for 84 yards. Indianapolis had 383 yards offense.