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Businesses must prepare for future cyber threats, says former CISA director

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Businesses Must Prepare For Future Cyber Threats, Says Former Cisa Director
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Speaking at the Black Hat cybersecurity conference, former CISA director Chris Krebs said US companies need to strengthen their cyber defenses and think about the future.

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Cyber ​​threats from state-sponsored hacking operations, as well as sophisticated cybercriminal gangs, continue to rise.

Businesses must think ahead when making security decisions today, as threats around the world continue to rise, said the former director of the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. United.

The ranks of cybercrime groups continue to grow, as do state-sponsored hacking operations from countries like Russia, China, North Korea, Iranas well as other less obvious ones, Chris Krebs told a crowd during the keynote speech at the Black Hat cybersecurity conference on Wednesday.

The annual Las Vegas, Nevada event brings together thousands of hackers and other security professionals each August, although attendance has dropped slightly from previous years, with some regular attendees opting instead to the online version of the conference following the global pandemic.

Krebs, who oversaw election security in the 2020 presidential election and was tweeted out of his post by President Donald Trump, currently runs a consulting firm with former Facebook security chief Alex Stamos. At CISA, Krebs ran a government website debunking false allegations of voter fraud. His dismissal drew backlash from the cybersecurity community and lawmakers.

Specifically, Krebs said Wednesday that every company needs to think about how its security might be affected by a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. While he’s not sure if that will happen tomorrow or six months from now, Krebs says based on conversations he’s had with national security officials, Chinese military action is almost inevitable.

Meanwhile, corporate IT systems are becoming increasingly complex and companies are collecting more data than ever before, making the idea of ​​attacking them more appealing.

“We have a pathological need to connect things to the internet,” Krebs said, noting that the average person has data-collecting devices in their car and home, as well as in and on their body.

“These things generate an incredible amount of data exhaustion, digital exhaustion,” he said, adding that overall these devices are getting more complex, not less.

Krebs said that CISA, under the direction of current manager Jen Easterly, does a lot to secure both government agencies and businesses, while managing to remain non-partisan and apolitical. But he says it will largely be up to cybersecurity professionals, like those at Black Hat, to do the hard work.

“I’m confident we can solve this problem,” he said. “We can move forward and get the safety results that we’re trying to get.”

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Khalil Herbert — with David Montgomery injured and Justin Fields playing like self-proclaimed ‘trash’ — steps up big for Chicago Bears

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Khalil Herbert — With David Montgomery Injured And Justin Fields Playing Like Self-Proclaimed ‘Trash’ — Steps Up Big For Chicago Bears
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Khalil Herbert stood at his Soldier Field locker about a half an hour after the Chicago Bears squeaked out a 23-20 win over the Houston Texans and gave a one-word answer for how he felt.

“Sore,” he said with a smile.

But sore in the best way.

The second-year Bears running back rushed for a career-high 157 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries as the Bears piled up 281 yards on the ground. It was the Bears’ best rushing performance since 1984, according to the team, and a much-needed lift for an offense as the passing game continues to struggle under quarterback Justin Fields.

Herbert spent the first two games of the season as the second option to running back David Montgomery and totaled 13 carries for 83 yards. But on the Bears’ second drive, Montgomery’s right leg was caught awkwardly under a Texans defender, and he was out the remainder of the game with what the Bears announced as knee and ankle injuries.

Herbert didn’t miss a beat.

On the next play, Herbert rushed for eight yards. Two plays later, he broke for 11 yards. And one play after that, he scored on an 11-yard touchdown run, breaking to the left sideline before popping back in through a hole to speed to the end zone for a 10-0 Bears lead in the first quarter.

“What he did is special,” Bears right guard Lucas Patrick said. “Any back to run for that is special, but then to step up when one of our offensive leaders goes down, and to do that and say, ‘Don’t worry, I got us,’ it invigorates all of us. It inspires all of us to keep going, keep pushing. Even at the end, for him to get that huge run at the end, it’s like, ‘We’re going to get this.’”

Bears coach Matt Eberflus said the news is positive on Montgomery, whom he said is “day to day.” Herbert and Fields both said they talked to or texted with Montgomery, and the running back was doing well.

Herbert, who was a 2021 sixth-round pick out of Virginia Tech, filled in for Montgomery over a four-game stretch last year and had 78 carries for 344 yards. So he has experience stepping up when needed.

“It’s really just making the most of my opportunities,” Herbert said. “I come in with that mindset every week, whether it’s one carry, 20 carries. Just try to make the most of that and make a play with what I get.”

On Sunday, Herbert’s performance included a 52-yard run to open the Bears’ first drive of the third quarter. Herbert credited the offensive line and fullback Khari Blasingame for opening a massive hole he darted through before fighting off cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. to get to the Texans’ 23-yard line.

“We were looking at the pictures on the sidelines — we could have drove a bus through there,” Herbert said. “It was a really big hole. It was my job to make the safety miss and I was able to do that.”

Four plays later, the Bears went ahead 20-17 on Herbert’s one-yard touchdown run, and the Bears went on to win on Cairo Santos’ 30-yard field goal as time expired.

Fields said Herbert’s performance wasn’t a surprise to his teammates, who know the work he puts in and the type of player he can be.

Fields contributed to the Bears’ big day on the ground with eight carries for 47 yards. Equanimeous St. Brown had two carries for 43 yards and rookie Trestan Ebner added seven carries for 23 yards. Montgomery had three carries for 11 yards before leaving.

The run game, two timely interceptions from the Bears defense and Santos’ three field goals helped the Bears keep pace with the Texans despite Fields completing just 8 of 17 passes for 106 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. He was sacked five times for a loss of 24 yards. It was a poor follow-up to a week in which Bears coaches faced many questions about their lack of production in the passing game.

“Straight up I just played like — I want to say the A word, but I’m not going to do that,” Fields said. “But I just played like trash. I played terrible and really just got to be better.”

The development of Fields is widely considered Objective A in this season of reconstruction under new general manager Ryan Poles. So the Week 3 performance was obviously disappointing, with Fields pointing to the two interceptions to Texans safety Jalen Pitre as things that bothered him most.

But the effectiveness of Herbert and the run game — and the win — should help soften the edge as Fields addresses his mistakes this week in practice.

“When you’re working with a young quarterback in a new offense, the people around him have to be solid and have to be good,” Eberflus said. “The protection has to be good, the run game has to be good, the defense has to be really good, and special teams we’ve got to be awesome. You support that quarterback while he’s growing and while he’s going through this. There’s going to be good, and there’s going to be things he has to improve on. But that’s the whole football team.”

Herbert was happy to do his part.

“I told 32 (Montgomery) that was for him today,” Herbert said. “We held it down and did good today.”

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Playing ‘Lamar football,’ Jackson dazzles again, defense steps up late to lead Ravens over Patriots, 37-26

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Playing ‘Lamar Football,’ Jackson Dazzles Again, Defense Steps Up Late To Lead Ravens Over Patriots, 37-26
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John Harbaugh has lived a very specific football life enough times by now to know what is possible with The Lamar Jackson Experience. Before every game, there are critics. During the game, there are generational performances, things that only the Ravens’ star quarterback can do. After the game, there are questions about the dissonance between what is said and what is seen.

“Every time we have a press conference, I basically say the same thing because it’s true every week,” the Ravens’ coach said after Jackson’s historic afternoon had lifted their team to a 37-26 win Sunday over the New England Patriots. “Yeah, if there’s people out there that doubt that at this point in time, I don’t know what to say to them. I don’t think we can help them at this point.”

Harbaugh did not throw up his hands because, well, he’s the one with Jackson, who accounted for five touchdowns. The Patriots (1-2) on Sunday had more yards, better injury luck, home-field advantage at Gillette Stadium, a game plan crafted by Hall of Fame coach Bill Belichick. Still they lost.

There was only so much they could do to stop what Jackson later called “Lamar football,” his unique brand of dual-threat excellence, the kind that rewrites history as it chugs along. In finishing 18-for-29 for 218 yards, four touchdowns and an interception, along with 11 carries for a game-high 107 yards and a score, Jackson became the first player in NFL history to record back-to-back games with at least three touchdown passes and 100 rushing yards, according to Elias Sports.

A week earlier, a fourth-quarter collapse in Baltimore had spoiled Jackson’s superlative afternoon in a last-minute loss to the Miami Dolphins. On Sunday, against a team they’d never defeated in a regular-season road game, the Ravens (2-1) got Jackson’s near-expected excellence on offense and some late-arriving help on defense. Only then, after eight total touchdowns and six total turnovers, was order imposed on a game that had teetered wildly for much of the afternoon.

“We were locked in on the Patriots,” Jackson said. “We didn’t dwell on that loss [to Miami]. Probably Monday, we dwelled on it. Tuesday, we dwelled on it. After that, it was on to the Patriots. I feel like we showed that today.”

In some ways, it was vintage Jackson. He followed his NFL record-breaking 11th career 100-yard game with his 12th. He had a 38-yard keeper in the third quarter on a touchdown drive that helped the Ravens start to separate, then put the game away for good with a 9-yard score with just over three minutes remaining.

There were also flashes of a Jackson rarely glimpsed before this season, a quarterback happily trusting of even covered receivers. At times, a defender with his head turned to the play was all the green light Jackson needed.

On his 16-yard touchdown pass to Mark Andrews in the second quarter, he asked his All-Pro tight end to win a jump ball over safety Devin McCourty. On his 4-yard touchdown pass to Devin Duvernay that extended the Ravens’ third-quarter lead to 28-20, Jackson trusted the emerging wide receiver to get both feet in in the corner of the end zone. On his 13-yard pass that Rashod Bateman turned into a 35-yard catch-and-run on the Ravens’ put-away drive, Jackson gave the wide receiver who’d just fumbled in the open field the chance to do something in space.

Andrews did, Duvernay did and Bateman did.

“He’s just elite, man,” Andrews (eight catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns) said of Jackson. “Just everything that he does for this program, the way he plays on and off the field, he’s in an elite division, for sure.”

Said cornerback Marlon Humphrey: “I’m going to enjoy watching him. Hopefully, we’re wearing the same jersey forever. What the guy does day in and day out, I think nobody can duplicate it in the league.”

The win was all the more remarkable because of whom the Ravens had lost along the way to the finish line. First it was Patrick Mekari (sprained ankle), the Ravens’ second starting left tackle to leave a game in the first three weeks. Then it was Justin Houston (strained groin), one of just two Ravens outside linebackers on the team’s 53-man roster. Finally it was defensive tackle Michael Pierce, who was carted off with an arm injury; his long-term prognosis is unknown.

With Mekari out, the Ravens turned to rookie Daniel Faalele, who played exclusively on the right side at Minnesota. After some early struggles in pass protection — Jackson was sacked four times, all in the first half — Faalele and the line stabilized, paving the way for a breakthrough running performance.

Over the first two weeks, the Ravens’ renowned ground game had amassed just 218 yards on 46 carries, much of them coming on Jackson’s 75-yard sprint against Miami. On Sunday, bolstered by the emergence of running back Justice Hill (six carries for 60 yards) and the season debut of running back J.K. Dobbins (seven carries for 23 yards), they had 26 carries for 188 yards (7.2 per carry).

“Everybody was locked in,” Jackson said. “They were determined as well. … Shoutout to my linemen.”

With the Ravens’ outside pass rush minimized and their defensive line pushed around by New England’s offensive line (145 yards rushing), the secondary saved its best for last. It wasn’t a high bar to clear, not after Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa passed for 469 yards and six touchdowns in the Ravens’ home opener, not after New England’s Mac Jones went 10-for-13 for 142 yards in the first half despite missing top wide receiver Jakobi Meyers.

After the Patriots opened the second half with a go-ahead touchdown run, the Ravens forced a turnover or punt on five of New England’s final six possessions. Inside linebacker Josh Bynes’ interception helped set up the Ravens for a 31-20 lead late in the third quarter. Humphrey’s red-zone interception and rookie safety Kyle Hamilton’s come-from-behind punch-out preserved the Ravens’ five-point margin in the fourth quarter. And cornerback Marcus Peters’ interception — his second turnover in his second game back, having already fallen on Hamilton’s forced fumble — sent Jackson out onto the field in victory formation.

“Every game stands on its own two feet,” said Harbaugh, who later unfurled a paper stashed away in his back pocket and read from it. “‘There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss contains its own seed, its lesson on how to improve your performance next time.’ That’s Malcolm X. That’s the lesson to me.”

The Ravens will have to be better in Week 4, when they welcome the 2-1 Buffalo Bills, a Super Bowl favorite, to Baltimore. Jones (321 passing yards) was the third quarterback in as many games to pass for at least 300 yards against the defense, and the Patriots were the third rushing offense to average at least 4.8 yards per carry, a near-unimaginable figure for a defense that had boasted of its line-of-scrimmage dominance.

Some injury luck would help. So would the arrival of free-agent edge rusher Jason Pierre Paul, whose one-year deal is expected to be finalized soon. Another week of self-study for an inconsistent defense couldn’t hurt.

But as long as the Ravens have their quarterback, they will take their chances. There’s only one team in the NFL that can play “Lamar football.” There’s only one player who makes it possible.

“I’m amazed every time,” defensive lineman Calais Campbell said. “It’s a front-row seat. You’re watching greatness. That guy is very special. He’s fun to watch. I’m glad I don’t have to play against him.”

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Despite just three catches for 14 yards, Justin Jefferson’s presence was felt in win over Detroit

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Despite Just Three Catches For 14 Yards, Justin Jefferson’s Presence Was Felt In Win Over Detroit
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Late in the Vikings’ 28-24 victory over Detroit on Sunday, head coach Kevin O’Connell and star wide receiver Justin Jefferson had a talk on the sidelines. It had been a difficult game for Jefferson, and would remain so.

But don’t believe the stats, O’Connell said after the Vikings rallied to win on Kirk Cousins’ 28-yard touchdown pass to K.J. Osborn with 50 seconds remaining at U.S. Bank Stadium.

“Justin had a huge impact on this game, it just didn’t show up on the stat sheet,” O’Connell said.

The Lions crowded, shoved and grabbed Jefferson — who had 196 catches for 3,016 yards and 17 touchdowns in his first two seasons — all day. He finished with three catches for a career-low 14 yards. And he was bummed.

“It’s frustrating, for sure,” he said afterward. “But I asked for it.”

Indeed. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound receiver out of LSU will be the focus of most, if not all opposing defenses for the rest of the season. He’s just that good. With Jefferson taken out of the offense, Adam Thielen (six catches, 61 yards and a touchdown) and Osborn (5-73-1) got the lion’s share of Cousins’ targets, which was enough to beat the Lions on Sunday.

Still, that’s not good enough, O’Connell said.

Jefferson’s presence may dictate the way a defense attacks Minnesota, and lead to success for teammates, but the Vikings need Jefferson doing what he does. In a season-opening victory over Green Bay, he caught nine passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns, averaging more than 20 yards a catch.

You don’t waste that as a decoy.

“I’ve got to do a better job getting Justin aspects of lining up in different spots and personnel groupings — whatever I need to do to help,” O’Connell said. “Because he’s an ultra-competitor, and we’ll get him going.”

“I have a lot of respect,” the coach added, “for how Justin handled today.”

It wasn’t easy.

“It’s definitely difficult to keep my cool during that moment,” Jefferson said. “Of course I want the ball. Of course I want to be a playmaker, do stuff for my team. But when that stuff comes, I can’t really do too much about it. I mean, just listening to the play calls, doing what I’m told, and K.J. and Adam getting wide open because they’re getting those one-on-one coverages.

“So it’s definitely good to see them winning their battles, and we’re going to keep doing this throughout the season.”

Osborn’s numbers were season-highs, and he broke free for a potential touchdown in the first half only to be overthrown by Cousins, who heaved his pass just before being leveled by a Lions defender. He has caught more than five passes just twice in a game in three pro seasons, the last time six receptions — including the winning touchdown — in a 34-27 victory at Carolina on Oct. 17, 2021.

Being targeted eight times on Sunday, he said, “felt amazing, man.”

“I read a book called ‘Chop Wood, Carry Water,’ ” Osborn added. Each play, keep chopping, keep chopping, play the next play and the ups and downs, keep fighting. I came out on top, we came out on top, and it feels good.”

Jefferson was one of the first players to greet Osborn after his touchdown.

“All of us are playmakers. All of us have that talent to really win in this league,” Jefferson said. “So, when I seen him open, it was a no-brainer. I expected that, and I’m definitely happy for him.”

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Jets need Zach Wilson back in a major way

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Jets Need Zach Wilson Back In A Major Way
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Stop me when you’ve heard this before, the Jets’ mental mistakes were ultimately their downfall on Sunday afternoon.

Just like in the Week 1 loss to the Baltimore Ravens two weeks ago, the Jets just couldn’t get out of their own way in their 27-12 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday.

It is easy to point the finger at the offense and say that’s the source of Gang Green’s issues, but their problems are much deeper than that. The offensive line gave Joe Flacco zero time in the pocket as he was sacked four times.

However, they desperately need quarterback Zach Wilson to return against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

After his stellar performance against the Cleveland Browns last week, the Jets fans went back to chanting for Mike White against the Bengals and deservingly so. Flacco had his worst outing of the season as he completed 28 of 52 passes for 285 yards and two interceptions and coughed up the ball twice.

“When you’re not winning football games, fans want you to go out there and win football games,” Flacco said. “They’re here to watch football, but they’re here to watch their team win.

“You get the frustration, but at the same time, it is a two-score game and we have more important things to worry about than that stuff. We just have to go play football, then that stuff, it’s going to happen.”

Earlier this month, Saleh said Wilson wouldn’t return before the Jets’ Week 4 matchup at the Pittsburgh Steelers. Wilson has been working his way back from his meniscus trim and bone bruise injury he suffered during the first week of the preseason.

During the last couple of weeks, Wilson has taken part in practice on a limited basis working with trainers and throwing the football. On Sunday, Wilson threw to some Jets players, including tight end Tyler Conklin. There was no brace or no sleeve on his surgically repaired right knee.

After the game, Saleh said Wilson would be evaluated on Monday but declined to say if the second-year player would start next week.

Either way, the Jets need some sort of energy for this offense, their defense and the rest of the team. The jury is still out on if Wilson is the Jets’ answer at the quarterback position.

No, Wilson won’t help fix the mental mistakes the Jets are making defensively, as, throughout the day, they suffered from drop passes, turnovers, missed assignments and penalties. Those include a Franklin-Myers unnecessary roughness penalty on third down he received for touching Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow after the ball was released.

Had the Jets not had that personal foul called, the Bengals would have punted. Instead, the Bengals scored their second touchdown of the day on a Tyler Boyd 56-yard reception.

Speaking of Boyd’s touchdown, safety Jordan Whitehead tried to tackle him by using his shoulder. It didn’t work and Boyd ran all the way to the end zone for six points.

“Our vets are making critical mistakes,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said. “JFL [John Franklin-Myers] personal foul, ticky-tack or not, that just can’t happen. And Corey [Davis] obviously with the penalty he had.

“It has to get fixed.”

Later in the game, as the Jets were possibly set to score their first touchdown of the game, Davis was called for a personal foul.

That penalty proved to be backbreaking as the 15-yard penalty took the Jets from 3rd and six to 3rd and 21. Gang Green eventually went for it on fourth down and Flacco was sacked and the team turned it over on downs.

“Mental errors, especially on the back end, which we can’t have,” cornerback D.J. Reed said. “Teams are too good.

“They had the touchdown, ok, clap it up. But the other stuff is mental errors. We have to make it simple so we can stop with the mental errors, we have to communicate more, whatever the case might be.

“We have to get it fixed.”

Having Wilson back could indeed be the step in the right direction to have this team believing they have a chance to win every Sunday. Especially on offense where the Jets look lifeless at times.

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Mike Preston’s report card: Position-by-position grades for Ravens’ 37-26 win over Patriots | COMMENTARY

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Mike Preston’s Report Card: Position-By-Position Grades For Ravens’ 37-26 Win Over Patriots | Commentary
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Here’s how the Ravens graded out at each position after a 37-26 win over the New England Patriots in Week 3 on Sunday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Quarterback

Lamar Jackson ran for 107 yards on 11 carries and completed 18 of 29 passes for 218 yards and four touchdowns. During most of the game, he was the team’s entire offense, but he also missed some open receivers and struggled in the second quarter when he stopped stepping into his throws. His touchdown pass to tight end Mark Andrews in the second quarter was underthrown and could easily have been intercepted. On this team, however, he is the difference-maker. Grade: B

Running backs

For the first time this season, the Ravens earned some respect. Fourth-year player Justice Hill had shown gradual improvement in the first two weeks and finished with 60 yards on six carries Sunday, but he also struggled in pass protection. Playing in his first game since suffering a knee injury in last year’s preseason finale, J.K. Dobbins recorded 23 yards on seven carries and caught two passes for 17 yards. The running game got stronger in the second half and Dobbins even made some defenders miss or ran through them. Grade: C

Offensive line

The Ravens struggled in the first half, especially after left tackle Patrick Mekari went down with an ankle injury and had to be replaced by rookie Daniel Faalele. The offensive line allowed four sacks, but this group got in a rhythm in the second half, especially with Jackson darting off tackle on running plays. The Ravens still need to be more consistent run blocking, as Hill’s 34-yard carry accounted for most of the running backs’ production. Grade: C+

Receivers

New England coach Bill Belichick is famous for taking away the opposing team’s top offensive weapons, but he couldn’t slow down Jackson nor Andrews, who had eight catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns. The receivers weren’t much of a factor until the second half but made some big plays when it mattered most. Rashod Bateman finished with two catches for 59 yards and Devin Duvernay had two catches for 25 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown in the corner of the end zone to extend the Ravens’ lead late in the third quarter. Grade: C+

Defensive line

The Patriots finished with 447 yards of total offense, including 145 rushing yards on 28 attempts. That’s pretty concerning, especially since New England’s longest carry went for 18 yards. . Justin Madubuike (one sack, two tackles for loss) was dominant in the second half after struggling in the first and fellow defensive end Calais Campbell turned in a solid effort, but nose tackle Broderick Washington got pushed off the ball consistently. The Ravens also lost nose tackle Michael Pierce to a left arm injury. The Patriots weren’t cute, they just ran straight ahead. Grade: D

Linebackers

It’s a toss-up between which position group is worse, the linebackers or the secondary. Inside linebacker Josh Bynes led the team in tackles with 10, but a lot of those were away from the line of scrimmage. Both he and weak-side linebacker Patrick Queen (five tackles, one sack) had trouble getting off blocks. Outside linebacker Odafe Oweh finished with five tackles but still wasn’t much of a threat as a pass rusher, which was supposed to be his forte coming out of college. Veteran outside linebacker Justin Houston went down with a groin injury and didn’t return. Grade: D

Secondary

Cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters each contributed to game-saving turnovers in the fourth quarter, but the Ravens allowed 321 passing yards to second-year quarterback Mac Jones, who often threw behind or late to his receivers. Rookie cornerback Jalyn Armour-Davis started the game but quickly earned a spot on the bench after getting beat twice in the first quarter. Safety Marcus Williams covers a lot of ground on the backend for the Ravens, but he’s not superman. Grade: D

Special teams

Duvernay has become a weapon on special teams, as evidenced by his 43-yard punt return in the second half. Justin Tucker made a 53-yard field goal late in the game but missed an extra-point attempt after the team’s final touchdown. Rookie Jordan Stout also shanked a punt in crunch time, his second in three games this season. He might need a little more tutoring from assistant special teams coach and former Ravens punter Sam Koch. Grade: B

Coaching

There are times when offensive coordinator Greg Roman dials up plays that make the Ravens look unbeatable and other times when it appears to be street ball. First-year defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald also has to improve his unit after another shaky performance. Coach John Harbaugh might have to take a harder look at defensive backs coach Chris Hewitt. Something is missing on the back end of this defense. Grade: C+

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‘Not acceptable. That’s not baseball. It was terrible.’ Chicago White Sox out of AL Central contention after going 0-6 during homestand.

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‘Not Acceptable. That’s Not Baseball. It Was Terrible.’ Chicago White Sox Out Of Al Central Contention After Going 0-6 During Homestand.
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It was a homestand to forget for the Chicago White Sox.

Six games. Six losses.

And to top it off, the team’s pursuit of the AL Central title is officially over after Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers in front of 33,549 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

The Cleveland Guardians, who began the Sox’s slide Tuesday, are division champions.

“It’s obviously very disappointing,” Sox starter Dylan Cease said.

The Sox began the season as the popular pick to not only win the division, but to compete for a shot at the World Series. Now they are on the verge of missing the playoffs completely, trailing the Seattle Mariners by 7 1/2 games with nine to go for the final wild-card spot.

“We definitely didn’t play up to our ability,” Cease said.

Asked about the week, which featured three losses to the Guardians and three to the Tigers, acting manager Miguel Cairo described Sunday as “the worst.”

“That’s not acceptable,” Cairo said. “That’s not baseball. That’s not what the Chicago White Sox are about. It was terrible.”

Asked if it was about execution or effort, Cairo said, “You can put it either way. Execution. Effort. Everything.”

The Sox squandered a strong outing from the AL Cy Young Award candidate Cease, who allowed four hits in six scoreless innings.

The Tigers tied the game with a run in the seventh and scored three more in the eighth to complete the sweep.

“You’ve got to come back Tuesday (in Minnesota),” Cairo said. “So they better bring some effort. It was kind of embarrassing.

“You saw for six series, the way you are supposed to play the game. And you saw (Sunday), it was totally different team. There’s nine more games. Got to finish strong and hard.”

The Sox were outscored 16-6 in the Tigers series.

“If you watch (Sunday’s) game, that was bad, besides Cease, (he) pitched really good and kept us in the game,” Cairo said.

Cease described his outing as “all right.”

“I want my fastball command to be better, but I did a good job grinding,” said Cease, who had five strikeouts and three walks. “It was one of those grind games. It was good enough.”

Cease began the day second in the majors in ERA and opponents average, fourth in strikeouts per nine innings, and fifth in strikeouts.

He received defensive help in the second with a leaping catch by left fielder AJ Pollock at the wall to rob the Tigers’ Kerry Carpenter. Cease made the big pitch in a big spot in the fifth, getting Javier Báez to pop out to catcher Seby Zavala with the bases loaded for the final out.

The Tigers loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth. Cease induced a double play, as Jonathan Schoop hit a grounder to third, where Yoán Moncada made a throw to the plate to get the lead runner and Zavala fired to first to get Schoop.

Jeimer Candelario flied out to center as the Sox maintained a 1-0 lead.

“He’s been pitching like that all year round and it was good to see him give us a chance to win,” Cairo said of Cease.

The Tigers tied the game on an RBI double by Victor Reyes against reliever Reynaldo López. They scored three runs in the eighth against reliever Kendall Graveman.

After the disastrous week, the Sox are left to ponder what went wrong in a lost season.

“It was tough,” Cease said of the week. “After a disappointing season, for it to be sort of capped off by this, it’s tough. I still like us to finish strong with our last nine.

“We’re definitely disappointed. We take the game serious. We compete, so when you compete and it doesn’t work out, it’s frustrating. We’re disappointed, but we got a lot of professional guys here, a lot of guys with a lot of big league time. We’re not sulking. We’re showing up to play the rest of the games.”

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