Kerry's two first-half goals, for starters, plus the excellence of their reserve 'keeper Diarmuid Murphy, along with a slice of luck near the finish when Ray Cosgrove was denied a Dublin goal.
However, nothing or nobody was as influential as Seamus Moynihan's inspirational play at centre-back for the bulk of the game.
Certainly, it was the platform from which Kerry made a crucial recovery from a slow start against the wind and, along with Darragh O Se's midfield dominance over the last 20 minutes, was what helped them survive a strong finish from the visitors.
Trainer, John O'Keeffe was pleased that their preparations had been right.
"We did fade but I thought we responded well in the final quarter. There was a lot of pride at stake, which was good to see."
Páidí O Sé readily agreed it was their best display to date, commenting: "We needed that. Dublin would be regarded as a team with fairly big ambitions, so from that aspect it was good. Dublin came back at us in the second half, but we did something today that we didn't do for a while.
"We went into another gear and we got stuck in. We got a few scores and built up our confidence again." Dublin manager Tommy Lyons admitted that he had been "disappointed rather than worried" at the way Kerry had taken a grip.
"It was a simple thing to stop it and we stopped it at half time. They didn't get through us once in the second half. There was a lot of hitting out there, a lot of physical battles.
"Kerry won some and we won some and I suppose Kerry shaded the overall battle."
Dublin, aided by the wind, made the better start to lead 0-3 to 0-1 after eleven minutes.
And, the alertness of Diarmuid Murphy (retaining his place after Declan O'Keeffe was ruled out) prevented a goal when Colin Moran connected with a cross at the edge of the square.
Notably, the two Dublin corrner forwards, Alan Brogan and Tomas Quinn, were quite threatening at a stage when midfielders Ciaran Whelan and Darren Magee were dominant.
However, with Moynihan supreme at the heart of the defence and lifting the team with a few surging runs down the centre, Kerry responded positively.
Darragh O Sé and Donal Daly (especially), got on top and there was a big improvement from the half-forwards with newcomer Donncha Walsh settling well and Eoin Brosnan very effective.
Additionally, Declan O'Sullivan was playing confidently in the left corner, whereas team captain Declan Quill found it hard to penetrate against Paul Griffin, one of Dublin's best defenders.
O'Sullivan had the ball in the net in the 15th minute and Quill, who made the final pass, came close to getting one himself immediately afterwards.
And, in the 18th minute, Dara O Cinneide had the misfortune to see a low shot come back off upright.
Dublin had little to offer in response as Kerry controlled the game, with Moynihan very much to the fore.
Consequently, it wasn't surprising to see them produce a second goal, through the in-form Brosnan in the 33rd minute to turn over 2-6 to 0-6 in front.
While Dromid Pearses' O'Sullivan extended the lead to seven points within 20 seconds of the resumption, a highly motivated Dublin achieved a dramatic improvement which produced five points over the next eight minutes.
Again, they were more active at midfield and produced some excellent moves in attack, with Brogan outstanding.
Diarmuid Murphy denied Quinn a possible goal in the 49th minute before Brosnan put over a vital score which helped restore Kerry confidence.
Over the course of the last 15 minutes Liam Hassett was a useful addition to the Kerry attack, Marc O Sé finished strongly and Micháel McCarthy was only troubled for the first time by Ray Cosgrove.
And, even at a time when Moynihan was again predominant and Darragh O Sé exerted a strong influence, Dublin almost snatched a goal.
"A ball hit the post and it bounced off Ray Cosgrove's chest," explained Kerry 'keeper, Murphy. "We were fortunate enough in that situation."
After that Cosgrove again threatened a goal until he lost possession and it protected Kerry's deserved lead.
*Paddy Russell's overall handling of the game was good, though he ignored a number of what seemed obvious fouls.
Scorers: Kerry E. Brosnan 1-3; D. O'Sullivan 1-2; D. Quill 0-3 (0-2 frees); S. Moynihan, L. Hassett and D. O Se 0-1 each.
Dublin: A. Brogan 0-4; T. Quinn 0-3; C. Moran, L. Og O hEineachain (0-1 free) and R. Cosgrove 0-2 each; B. Cullen 0-1.
KERRY: D. Murphy; T. O'Sullivan, M. McCarthy, M. O Sé; T. O Sé, S. Moynihan, J. Sheehan; D. O Sé, D. Daly; S. O'Sullivan, E. Brosnan, D. Walsh; D. Quill (capt.), D. O Cinneide, D. O'Sullivan.
Subs: S. Scanlon for Daly (47th minute); L. Hassett for S. O'Sullivan (50th); J. Crowley for O Cinneide (54th); P. Kennedy for Walsh (60th).
DUBLIN: S. Cluxton; B. Cahill, P. Christie, P. Griffin; P. Casey, S. Ryan, C. Goggins (capt.); C. Whelan, D. Magee; C. Moran, B. Cullen, L. óg O hEineachain; A. Brogan, R. Cosgrove, T. Quinn.
Subs: S. Connell for Moran (52nd minute); J. Sherlock for Quinn (injured, 55th); P. Andrews for Casey (58th); J. McNally for Cullen (59th); D. O'Mahony for Cosgrove (67th).
Referee: P. Russell (Tipperary).