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Reggie shines: What we learned from Game Rewind

The sun burned bright Tuesday, but we didn't see it.

We spent the day burrowed away watching a treasure trove of Game Rewind and the glorious All-22.

Here's just some of what we saw in Week 4:

Unsung heroes in Detroit


Lions running back Reggie Bush got his name in the paper after drilling the Chicago Bears for 139 yards on 18 carries, but right guard Larry Warford deserves a big chunk of the credit.

The Lions rookie played his best football of the season in Sunday's win. Warford stood out because of the way he finished plays against the Bears. I watched him swallow up nose tackle Nate Collins on Bush's 37-yard touchdown run:

Warford is quick enough to get upfield and take on linebackers, as he does here with Lance Briggs:

Against the Bears, Detroit primarily ran the ball out of three-receiver sets with Bush lined up as the lone back. Chicago responded with a 4-2-5 alignment that Warford and friends had their way with. Wide avenues like this were commonplace Sunday:

Flacco's bad day:


I still can't figure out what the Ravens were hoping to accomplish against the Bills.

Against a Buffalo defense giving up 155 ground yards per game, Baltimore ran just nine times.

Granted, Ray Rice wasn't fully healthy, but things got wacky in Sunday's loss. I watched Joe Flacco drop back 31 consecutive times at one point.

The Ravens quarterback threw 50 passes and a career-worst five interceptions. By my count, he's purely to blame for three of them, including this ghastly offering:

Haden vs. Green


Sunday was a rough one for Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, who was smothered by Cleveland's defense.

Thanks to the All-22, we have evidence of the battle that unfolded largely off-screen between Browns cornerback Joe Haden and Bengals receiver A.J. Green. This round went to Haden.

His ascent mirrors the rise of Cleveland's young defense. He finally plays behind a tangible front seven, allowing Haden to focus on what he does best: Take away the quarterback's favorite target. He eliminated Mike Wallace in Week 1 and played outstanding man-to-man coverage against Green in Sunday's win:

Even when Green caught the ball, Haden -- a sure tackler -- sent him to the dirt:

Haden's resume is growing. Few corners in the league have been as reliable after four weeks.

Replacing Nate Burleson


Back to Detroit for a sec, where I wanted to see how the Lions would account for "The Pizza Incident."

Against Chicago, the team used a combination of Ryan Broyles and Kris Durham to make up for the loss of Nate Burleson. Durham, in his third season, primarily played on the outside across from Calvin Johnson. The Lions heavily leaned on three-wide sets with Broyles -- or Bush -- in the slot.

With Patrick Edwards on the shelf, Durham got a long look. His 62 snaps were second only to Megatron (64) among Lions wideouts. I liked what I saw. Durham's a big 6-foot-6 target who wasn't easy for Chicago to bring down. I'd rather see Detroit develop Durham than trade for a low-ceiling target like Greg Little. Here's why:

Notebook dump:


» Eagles players shouting "Papa John's!" at Peyton Manning was beautiful ...

... but not everyone is laughing:

» Daniel Thomas was pitched to us over the summer as equal competition for Lamar Miller. Ridiculous. While Miller is beginning to show the juice that made him one of our "Making the Leap" candidates, Thomas is a plodder. He paid the price against the Saints, who dominated Miami's line Monday night. Cameron Jordan and Junior Galette get lots of love in New Orleans, but how about massive rookie nose tackle John Jenkins, who spread his wings and ate Thomas for lunch:

As for Miami's ill-conceived committee approach, our pal Rummy said it best:

» One more takeaway from Cleveland: Brian Hoyer clearly came to the Browns with fewer bad habits than Brandon Weeden. Hoyer's drop and footwork are crisp and he throws the ball more decisively than Weeden. Hoyer's been sacked five times and hit five more in two starts. Weeden's two appearances generated eight sacks and 16 quarterback hits. The line hasn't changed. Hoyer isn't Drew Brees, but he knows how to get rid of the ball.

» Against my will, I watched every one of Matt Cassel's passes from Sunday's win over the Steelers. His 70-yard scoring strike to Greg Jennings left me with two thoughts: (1) The play was one part Cassel but two parts Jennings, who used his legs to take a seven-yard hitch route to the house. (2) The Steelers aren't tackling well. Cortez Allen whiffed on Jennings and he wasn't alone. This defense is adrift.

Special thanks to the multitalented Jonathan Smyth of NFL Films for cutting the All-22. If you'd like us to focus on something specific in Week 5, hit me up on Twitter at @MarcSesslerNFL.

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