The Miami Dolphins destroyed the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, their fourth win in the last five games. The team dominated the Raiders in all aspects of the game, with running back Reggie Bush gaining over 100-yards, tight end Anthony Fasano leading the team with 66-yards receiving, linebacker Kevin Burnett tallied a sack and an interception, and punter Brandon Fields out kicked the "best kicker in the league" Shane Lechler.
It was a great day to be a Miami Dolphins fan.
But, the game ball this week belongs to the head coach, Tony Sparano. After an 0-7 start, the team, and Sparano, very easily could have given up on the season. Sparano could have accepted that he was going to get fired, and quit. But he didn't, and the team didn't.
Sparano went back and changed the way he coached. He gave more power to the team's captains. He realized the Bill Parcells model, the model he was shown as an assistant coach with the Dallas Cowboys and as the head coach in Miami, wasn't working. The league has evolved past how Parcells won, and Sparano seems to have realized that, and changed to meet the new NFL.
After the team's loss to the Denver Broncos, Sparano addressed the team. "He said, ‘You know what? If you guys want to lose and be 0-16 and get me out of here, no problem,'" Burnett reported after the game. "'But guess what? I'm not going to be the only one gone, and that's just the reality of this business.'"
And the team has responded.
We have all seen the debates across the site. There are vocal members of both sides of the "Fire Tony Sparano" movement - and there will be until owner Stephen Ross makes a definitive decision. But, for this week at least, Sparano did everything right - and the Dolphins walked away having embarrassed a division leader, and looking like the team all of us as fans expected to see from Week 1.