In 1972 the Miami Dolphins won their division by seven games and didn’t even have home-field advantage to play for late in the season, because in those days home-field advantage didn’t automatically go to the team with the best record.
But Dolphins coach Don Shula kept striving for perfection all season, and eventually the Dolphins became the only undefeated, untied champions in NFL history.
This year’s Indianapolis Colts have taken a different approach. But Shula, who congratulated the Colts on a great season after they lost Sunday, said today that he doesn’t see anything wrong with the way the Colts handled things.
Shula told guest host Rich Eisen on the Dan Patrick Show that he “was watching with a lot of interest,” and that he thinks the Colts made a valid decision to “make sure they didn’t risk injury to their key players that would hurt them in the playoffs.”
Shula acknowledged that he’s proud of being the only coach in NFL history to lead a team to perfection, and that there’s a part of him that’s happy when he sees the league’s last undefeated team lose each year. But he also praised the Colts as a team good enough to do it.
“They did have a chance to run the table, to go undefeated, and that’s a hard thing to do,” Shula said. “The most important thing, and I learned this a long time ago, is winning the big game at the end of the season.”
The full interview can be heard at DanPatrick.com.