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Sunday, September 23, 2012
Sparano's revenge

By Rich Cimini

Tony Sparano
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MIAMI -- Offensive coordinator Tony Sparano downplayed his return to Miami, but it meant a lot to him, according to former Dolphin S Yeremiah Bell.

“I know he wanted this, I know it was big for him,” Bell said after the Jets’ 23-20 OT win over the Dolphins. “At the end of the day, I don’t think he was too happy with the way he was done here. To get some revenge I’m sure was sweet for him.”

Sparano, who led the Dolphins to the AFC East title in his first season, 2008, was fired with three games remaining last year. Many felt he was undermined by team owner Stephen Ross, who courted Jim Harbaugh before the season.

This wasn’t a vintage performance by Sparano’s offense, however. Consider the number of mistakes:

• The Jets managed only one touchdown in 13 possessions. In their last eight-plus quarters, they have only two touchdowns.

• They squandered two goal-to-go situations, managing only three points. They settled for a field goal and threw it away on a Mark Sanchez interception. All told, they were 1-for-5 in the red zone; they led the league in that category last season.

• The running game continued to sputter, as they ran for only 88 yards and a 2.7 average.

• Sanchez (21-for-45) completed less than 50 percent of his passes for the second straight week.

• Rookie WR Stephen Hill went without a catch for the second straight week. Hard to believe, considering he was targeted nine times.