That's mostly because Sparano and offensive coordinator Dan Henning finally decided to take the training wheels off for starting quarterback Chad Henne.
As the Jacksonville Jaguars prepare for a visit from their in-state brethren on Sunday, they must be wondering how much they should prepare for the Wildcat and how much they need to come up with a way to slow the suddenly productive Dolphins passing game.
Ranked 30th in the NFL coming into the rematch with the Patriots, the Dolphins piled up 328 yards passing against a struggling secondary. Henne threw for a career-best 335 yards and two touchdowns. He went 29 for 52, marking the most attempts for him since he was a Michigan freshman in 2004 and threw 54 times in a loss at Ohio State.
Of the 18 times in franchise history a quarterback has thrown 50 or more passes, the Dolphins have won just six times. The first five victories belonged to Dan Marino, most recently in 1995 against the Falcons.
The last time a Dolphins quarterback threw as many times as Henne did Sunday in a victory, it was 1990 and Marino was beating the Eagles in overtime.
No one is putting Henne in the Hall of Fame just yet, but the early indicators are very encouraging.
"The kid shows me an awful lot," Sparano said. "He's just getting better and better. He likes being in tough situations, and that's what you want."
Tough? Try being down 14-0 to the three-time Super Bowl champs -- who hadn't lost consecutive games in more than three years -- one play into the second quarter.
Tough? Try being down 21-10 three minutes into the second half, and still down 21-19 with 3:44 to play and the ball at your 26-yard line.
That Henne had the poise to lead the Dolphins 51 yards in 10 plays to set up Dan Carpenter's 41-yard field goal for the win -- Henne's third fourth-quarter comeback victory in just nine starts -- should give the Jaguars significant headaches this week.