Each week on "Only the Best," we highlight some of the best plays, performances and moments from the previous Sunday.
Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland had to be smiling Sunday. His young QB, Ryan Tannehill, out-playedAndrew Luck. And Ireland's free-agent spending spree continued to pay off with nice performances by linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler.
Signing Brent Grimes was Ireland's best move. For a very low price, the Dolphins picked up a quality No. 1 cornerback. Grimes shut down receiver Reggie Wayne for most of Sunday's win over the Indianapolis Colts, coming up with the key play of the game on a fantastic interception.
Sometimes I'll highlight plays because they are representative of a great performance or a trend like Grimes' pick above. And sometimes I'll just show you a T.Y. Hilton play because T.Y. Hilton is making the leap and deserves to be noticed. After a quiet Week 1, the second-year pro had six catches for 124 yards against Miami.
Let's head to Kansas City, where Alex Smith has given the Chiefs exactly what they expected at quarterback. And maybe a little more. One Chiefs touchdown drive against the Dallas Cowboys was keyed almost entirely on Smith running the ball. (Smith was effective in the pistol formation and running the read option.)
The biggest criticism of Smith is that he can't deliver on third-and-long or go down the field. On the play below, using Coaches Film from Game Rewind, Smith connects on a third-and-9 for 31 yards to receiver Donnie Avery. This play encapsulates Smith well. A free rusher comes loose, and Smith moves up well in the pocket. His throw to Avery is not pretty, it wobbles and barely gets there. But the completion is made, and the Chiefs score a touchdown later in the drive. These are the plays that win games.
Let's head back to the coaching tape. Everyone saw Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel's game-winning touchdown pass, but the play below should be more exciting for what the rookie can do in the future. He has a long way to go this season, but his ability to handle pressure calmly is an early plus.
We can't review the week without mentioning the Seattle Seahawks' utter demolition of the San Francisco 49ers. Cornerback Richard Sherman gets a lot of attention for his words, but that shouldn't overshadow his play. Sherman erased last week's big story, Anquan Boldin, from Sunday night's game.
Arizona Cardinals rookie Tyrann Mathieu made one of the plays of the week in the season opener to prevent a touchdown. For his second act, he made a game-clinching open-field tackle. He quickly has become an integral player on a good Cardinals defense.