Sometimes, when the game is ugly and the opponent is known for being pretty tough -- indeed something of a bully according to the head coach -- a victory isn't going to be about finesse and how slick the pass offense looks.
Sometimes a win can only be earned through just gutting things out.
Being tougher than the other guy ...
...Knocking out the other guy.
The Dolphins were the tougher team on Sunday. They took blows from the Buffalo Bills and trailed 17-14 with less than six minutes to play.
But amid the difficulties of allowing a long TD pass to Marquise Goodwin, and getting bad special teams play, and having almost a dozen penalties, the Dolphins found a way to endure.
By the time Ryan Tannehill threw a 66-yard touchdown to Kenny Stills with 2:24 to play the dire situation of being down 17-6 was only a memory.
The Dolphins dominated the Bills with their running game. Jay Ajayi rushed for 214 yards on 29 carries. He became only the fourth player in NFL history -- including OJ Simpson, Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams -- to deliver consecutive 200-yard games.
The Miami offensive line dominated up front, allowing only one sack of Tannehill on pass plays and obviously moving the way for Ajayi.
The Miami defense, meanwhile, stymied the Bills highly ranked rushing attack. Buffalo averaged only 2.9 yards per rush.
And, overall, the Dolphins knocked out two Bills players during this game -- safety Aaron WIlliams and Goodwin.
The Dolphins were simply the bigger bullies this day.
Did I mention that in being the tougher team the Dolphins displayed more resiliency?
The Dolphins trailed most of the game including in the final six minutes of the game. They were buried inside their five yard line but dug out of that hole with Ajayi, went 53 yards in one carry to get the Dolphins beyond midfield.
Ajayi had to leave the game and Damien Williams gave the Dolphins the lead with a 12-yard touchdown run.
On the next offensive series Tannehill to Stills extended the lead. The Bills did get a late TD run from Reggie Bush.
The Dolphins are 3-4 and have now won two consecutive games.
This team is finding an identity.