The Kansas City Chiefs managed to get over 200 yards and four touchdowns worth of production from the running back position in their victory over the Dolphins, and that was all without Jamaal Charles.
It was a toughness Chiefs coach Andy Reid was happy to see from this team.
"They showed great heart and desire today," Reid said. "So you develop character through the tough times and so this team is showing that and they showed it today."
With Jamaal Charles sitting out as he continues to deal with an ankle injury, the rest of the guys had to step up.
Knile Davis set the tone for the offense and ran the ball 32 times for 132 yards and a touchdown. Joe McKnight was the Chiefs leading receiver with six receptions for 64 yards and two touchdowns. Cyrus Gray got in the mix late in the game with a touchdown of his own, finishing the game with four rushes for 18 yards and a score.
These young players filled in when they were needed the most, and the offensive line paved the way for them to pick up those yards.
"It doesn't surprise me at all," quarterback Alex Smith said of the running backs' performance. "We have a good group. I think there was a reason we kept so many of them and I think you can see that now. They all have something to offer—they're all talented."
The Chiefs made a concerted effort to control the line of scrimmage in the run game, rushing the ball 41 times compared to just 25 passing attempts from quarterback Alex Smith.
Smith was efficient on the day, completing 19 of 25 passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns.
Reid spoke after the game about what Smith brings to the table that doesn't show in a box score.
"I have full trust in [Smith] commanding this football team during the game," Reid said. "He does nothing but make plays out there for us and get people in the right positions and kind of be the coach on the field which is very important.
"He calms these situations that seem a little chaotic. He just calms it right down and keeps it right and that's hard to find and we're very lucky to have him in Kansas City."
The play of the game may have been Frankie Hammond's daring move to field a punt deep in Chiefs territory midway through the fourth quarter. The 47-yard return set up McKnight's second touchdown reception of the game, and gave the Chiefs the two-possession lead at 27-15.
Photos from the Chiefs week three match up against the Miami Dolphins.
"That was a big return for us," Reid said of the play, although admitting it was a risky move. "They ended up being decent returns but normally you let some of those go. The flavor of the day though is you're returning everything. You're seeing teams do that."
On the defensive side of the ball, the Chiefs were able to get pressure on Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill throughout the game, finishing with four sacks.
Dontari Poe led the way with 1.5 sacks, Justin Houston and Tamba Hali each picked up a sack and Chris Owens was credited with a half of a sack.
"They were relentless," Reid said. "They had a rotation going that was phenomenal so guys were able to stay fresh. It was great to see so many guys contribute. I thought our secondary played good against good receivers. They got some receivers there that have some juice.
"For the two young linebackers that have stepped up and played, hats off to them. That's not an easy thing to do. You fill in for a DJ (Derrick Johnson), a (Joe) Mays, that's not an easy thing to do and they did that."
Rookie Dee Ford even got into the mix with a couple of nice plays in nickel and dime formations for the Chiefs defense.
While there are still many areas the Chiefs could improve on both sides of the ball, they went on the road and picked up a big win, which should help this young team moving forward.
"It was a good win," Reid said. "It's a long season so we have to make sure that we keep working. We have a lot of room to improve. We have good talent on this football team—to be able to continue to get better and we're going to keep doing that. We can even work a little bit harder than we've been working and focus in a little bit more on our details and get ourselves even better."