Connect with us

News

Less than a month until the finance and fintech industry meets at iFX EXPO Asia

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Less Than A Month Until The Finance And Fintech Industry Meets At Ifx Expo Asia
google news

Impeccably curated by Ultimate Fintech, iFX EXPO gathers more traction with each edition. Held annually since 2012 in financial centers across Europe, Asia and the Middle East, it is the largest B2B financial exhibition and a hot spot for thought-provoking debates. The next edition, iFX EXPO Asia, will take place September 13-15, 2022 at CentralWorld’s Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Center and is expected to be the largest yet.

Organizers are planning over 2 days of unprecedented networking with industry leaders and decision makers who come to Bangkok from all over the world. The event is not only the ultimate destination for financial industry leaders to network and showcase their products, services and brands, but it also exceeds expectations with its exclusive parties. They allow participants to meet existing and potential partners in an informal setting.

The agenda is filled with insightful topics and renowned experts. Keynotes include high-calibre speakers from leading forex and fintech companies such as Finnovation Labs, Equity Group, Finalto Asia, one-Zero, ATFX Southeast Asia, Brokeree Solutions, and others. To learn more about topics and keynotes, see the Agenda.

Zulu Trade tops the event’s impressive list of sponsors as an Official Global Partner, followed by many other forward-thinking brands, including ATFX, AximTrade, Finalto, TMGM, B2Broker, Equity Capital and B2BinPay, for n to name a few. An impressive list of proud sponsors and exhibitors of iFX EXPO Asia 2022 can be explored on the official website.

Who will participate?

iFX EXPO Asia is an ideal place for global fintech collaboration. The event brings together high-level executives from the largest international companies. Participants include:

Technology and service providers

Digital assets and blockchain

Retail and institutional brokers

Payments, banks and liquidity providers

Affiliates and IBs

· Regulation and compliance

Register now and enjoy the free pass

You can register now to get your Free Pass for iFX EXPO Asia 2022 by following the registration link.

The pass provides unlimited access to over 2 days of unlimited networking opportunities, including free entry to the Speakers’ Room and Ideas Center, sponsored food and beverage areas and exclusive welcome events and evening.

Take advantage of an exclusive accommodation offer

Centara Grand at CentralWorld has been selected as the official accommodation provider for iFX EXPO Asia 2022, offering exclusive rates for all event delegates between September 10-17. To benefit from the special offer, book your stay here in advance.

There is less than a month until the show, so don’t miss it and register NOW!

cnbctv18-forexlive

google news
Advertisement

News

Za’Darius Smith, Vikings defense step up when needed to get past Lions

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Za’darius Smith, Vikings Defense Step Up When Needed To Get Past Lions
google news

With two minutes left in Sunday’s game at U.S. Bank Stadium, Vikings edge rusher Za’Darius Smith was down on the turf with an injury and his team was potentially in trouble.

The Vikings trailed Detroit 24-21 with timeouts remaining. The Lions needed one first down to end the game.

Smith finally got up after suffering what he later said was a lower-body injury. And he insisted on staying in for what would be a 28-24 victory.

“I went down for a second, but I couldn’t come out of the game,” Smith said. “I had to stay in there because it was a big situation. Two-minute situation, and they needed me the most. … My adrenaline was pumping.”

With the Lions facing third-and-14 at the Minnesota 46, they ran the ball and Jamaal Williams gained 10 yards to the 36. Surprisingly, on fourth-and-4, they elected to try a 54-yard field goal rather than go for a first down.

Austin Seibert missed the field-goal attempt, setting the stage for Kirk Cousins’ 28-yard go-ahead touchdown pass to K.J. Osborn with 45 seconds remaining. Then Smith returned to the field to help stop a last-ditch Detroit drive.

“It was great,” Smith said. “Just to know that my brothers are behind me. I’m just glad we won the game.”

Smith was hopeful that his injury wasn’t serious and went to get it checked out. Head coach Kevin O’Connell said Smith gutting it out at the end typified the play of Minnesota’s defense.

“He’s going to give it everything he’s got,” O’Connell said. “So we got tough guys. We got guys that love playing for one another.”

The Vikings gave up 416 yards of total offense, with Jared Goff throwing for 277 yards and Williams running for 87. But the defense made the plays down the stretch when needed.

Trailing 24-21, the Vikings stopped Williams for no gain on fourth-and-1 at the Minnesota 30 with 3:30 left in the game. And then they stopped two more Detroit drives.

“It’s wasn’t pretty at first, but we came together,” edge rusher Danielle Hunter said. “We knew what we had to do. We knew what plays we were going to have to make at the end of the game, and we came together and we pulled through.”

For most of the game, the Vikings’ defense was frustrated. En route to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter, the Lions converted all three of their fourth-down attempts on the drives for their first two touchdowns. The big one on their first drive was Goff completing a 30-yard pass on fourth-and-5 to Amon-Ra St. Brown to the Minnesota 2.

For the game, the Lions were 4 of 6 on fourth-down conversions. Afterward, Lions coach Dan Campbell said he “should have” gone for it on the fourth-down play before Seibert’s missed field goal.

“Honestly, they kept going for it on fourth down,” linebacker Eric Kendricks said. “I didn’t know whether it was third down or fourth down. We were just out there grinding.”

The Vikings persevered despite playing without star safety Harrison Smith, who was out with a concussion and replaced by Josh Metellus. Goff took advantage of Smith’s absence at times, but his final pass of the game, a desperation heave from the 50, was intercepted by Metellus at the Vikings 5 with 9 seconds left.

“I had to make a play, and I did,” Metellus said.

google news
Continue Reading

News

Chris Perkins: Dolphins’ defense making winning plays, having fun and keeping big picture in mind

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Ravens Q&Amp;A: Olb Daelin Hayes On Learning From A Frustrating Rookie Season, Reuniting With Kyle Hamilton, The Importance Of Community Service And More
google news

After all the Miami Dolphins’ defensive excitement of the day — stopping the Buffalo Bills at the Dolphins’ 2-yard line with 2:36 remaining while clinging to a 21-17 lead, stopping the Bills again in the fourth quarter, this time while clinging to a 21-19 lead in the final 1:25, and getting a strip-sack that led to a Dolphins touchdown that tied the game at 7 — veteran defensive tackle John Jenkins hoped one message came through loud and clear after the Dolphins’ emotional 21-19 victory over Buffalo.

“I feel like we’re having fun,” he said. “I hope everybody can see that.”

We can see that. We can also see this defense is good, really good.

But they’re nowhere close to making the type of statement they want to make this season.

“We’ve got big goals this year,” defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah said.

Buffalo entered Sunday’s game averaging 36 points. It finished with 17 fewer than its average.

Credit the Dolphins’ game-changing defense.

But Jenkins’ sentiment went deeper when he spoke of the defense having fun. The Dolphins’ defensive fun stems from being effective players, a close-knit unit, and a group that lives in some weird utopian society. He continued.

“I hope everybody can see no man is bigger than the other,” Jenkins said. “Everybody, when their name and number is called, will respond. We’re interchangeable.”

It’s a crazy contention, almost illogical, but through three games Jenkins might be right.

This Dolphins defense is good, it’s deep, and people do their jobs with the utmost professionalism.

Consider the fourth-quarter goal-line stand.

Buffalo (2-1), trailing, 21-17 with 3:14 remaining, had five shots from the Dolphins’ 6-yard line or closer — one from the 6-yard line, three from the 2-yard line, and one from the 1-yard line — and couldn’t punch it in for the go-ahead touchdown.

The Dolphins (3-0) had defenders at all three levels — defensive line, linebacker and secondary — make plays during yet another gutsy goal-line stand (remember Baltimore?).

This Dolphins defense makes plays and has fun, and they don’t care what outsiders think of their performances.

“We weren’t trying to listen to the outside noise,” cornerback Nik Needham said. “They were the big, bad Bills. And putting up a lot of points. We were trying to lock in as a unit. We weren’t worried about them, just worried about ourselves.”

Granted, convincing someone that Needham can make plays just as well as All Pro cornerback Xavien Howard is tough, almost impossible. It stretches the boundaries of NFL reality. But look at the evidence.

While Howard was shadowing Stefon Diggs, Buffalo’s All Pro wide receiver, Needham and his fellow defensive backs (Kader Kohou, Eric Rowe, Keion Crossen, Jevon Holland and Brandon Jones) were holding Buffalo’s other receivers in check, and that’s not easy when strapping quarterback Josh Allen is back there slinging the ball all over the yard.

Buffalo ran an exhausting 90 plays offensively, which means the Dolphins defense was on that hot, humid Hard Rock Stadium field for 90 plays. The time of possession edge was in the Bills’ favor, 40:40 to 19:20.

No worries.

While Allen finished 42 of 63 for 400 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, the Bills only scored two touchdowns, both coming in the first half. Diggs (seven receptions, 74 yards) was largely kept in check as were his wide receiver buddies Isaiah McKenzie (seven receptions, 76 yards, one touchdown), Gabe Davis (three receptions, 37 yards). Running back Devin Singletary was Buffalo’s leading receiver with seven receptions for 78 yards.

The Dolphins defense punished Allen, recording four sacks and 10 quarterback hits.

And, yeah, Buffalo rushed for 115 yards on 23 carries, averaging 5.0 yards per carry, but the Bills couldn’t punch it in when it counted, in the fourth quarter, which brings us back to Jenkins’ point.

The Dolphins defense makes plays.

In fact, lots of Dolphins defenders make plays.

Linebacker Jerome Baker (13 tackles, half a sack) and safety Holland (10 tackles, 1.5 sacks, two passes defended) led the way statistically. But safety Jones (nine tackles) and linebacker Elandon Roberts (eight tackles) weren’t far behind. And Howard (six tackles), Needham (five tackles), rookie Kohou (five tackles) and linebacker Duke Riley (five tackles) were right behind them.

Linebacker Melvin Ingram had three tackles, two of them sacks. He also had a recovered fumble. Ogbah had four quarterback hits.

This trend of everyone making a contribution has been going on all season whether it’s a turnover, goal-line stand, third-down stop, first-down tackle for a loss, whatever. And it’ll probably keep going.

The defense doesn’t have a big head. They don’t consider themselves a No. 1 defense or anything of that sort.

“You can’t think that,” Needham said. “In the NFL it’s any given Sunday. We’ve got to lock back in.”

They must also keep having fun, and stay focused on the big picture, which isn’t just beating Buffalo.

“It’s big for us,” Ogbah said of the victory, “but we’ve got bigger goals. This is just a stepping stone.”

()

google news
Continue Reading

News

Dave Hyde: Hallelujah, Miami Dolphins show in 21-19 win over Bills they’re a contender

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Dave Hyde: Hallelujah, Miami Dolphins Show In 21-19 Win Over Bills They’re A Contender
google news

“Can I get an, ‘Amen?’ “

Christian Wilkins was preaching late Sunday afternoon, brothers and sisters, but before he talked about this nastiest Miami Dolphins win, before he addressed the grittiest little goal-line stand or the glory of this 3-0 start, he asked something himself.

“Come on, can I get an, ‘Amen!’” the Dolphins defensive tackle asked again.

“Amen!” the assembled media said.

“Thank you,” Wilkins said.

Sunday’s 21-19 win over Buffalo, where the Dolphins practiced what they preached, probably deserves something more, too. Hallelujah? Lord have mercy?

For the first time in years — or decades depending how you frame — the Dolphins won the kind of game in the kind of scheduling stretch that says they belong in the conversation of contenders. That’s it. That’s the hallelujah moment.

They’ve now beaten New England, Baltimore and top-of-the-heap Buffalo in their first three games, and that’s as good a line-up as any team has put down thus far. They weren’t electric Sunday. They were just good enough against their most important measuring stick right now.

Buffalo had drives longer than some television mini-series. Fourteen plays. Twenty plays. And then the most important of all, a 17-play series late in the fourth quarter, where they had first-and-goal at the Miami 2-yard line and trailing 21-17.

“We made four plays,”’ Wilkins said.

Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen then got the ball again with 1:33 left and just needing a field goal thanks to a Dolphins punt that ricocheted off a Dolphins player into a safety. Most teams don’t survive Allen getting two cracks like that. Defensive coordinator Josh Boyer’s defense did.

“It was exhilarating, man,” safety Jevon Holland said.

So something has changed. This defense has grown up from the team that got dragged around the field at the end of last season in Tennessee. This team has changed, too, after losing seven straight games to Buffalo.

“It was special for everyone involved in that regard, as special as a Week 3 regular-season game can be,” first-year coach Mike McDaniel said. “I will say that much, but we know that we’re going to see them again. If they at all took us lightly at all, I promise you they won’t again, so we’re going to get their best shot. That’s a really, really, really good football team.”

Don’t kid yourself. Buffalo put up winning numbers Sunday: 90 plays to the Dolphins’ 39 plays; 497 total yards to the Dolphins’ 212 yards; 40 minutes and 40 seconds time of possession to the Dolphins’ 19:20. You’d take those numbers every Sunday and win most every game.

The Dolphins won Sunday. They made just enough big plays to take the day. Holland blitzing Allen into a fumble and Melvin Ingram recovering at the Buffalo 6-yard line to set up a touchdown? Tua Tagovailoa returning from injury for a 45-yard throw to Jaylen Waddle on third-and-22 to set up another touchdown?

“I was wishing and hoping I was open,” Waddle said.

Players were dropping especially on the Buffalo side, mostly from the heat. Buffalo lost 13 players from the start of the game, reinforcing that a Dolphins home game in September is the biggest home-field advantage in sports. Buffalo already had their entire secondary out with injuries, too.

The Dolphins lost players, too, and the day turned nasty as it went on. Allen was flagged for a personal foul late in the game. What happened?

“Just football stuff,” he said.

That was the entire day. Just football stuff. Allen is a beast, passing for 400 yards, running for 46 more and getting two chances in the final minutes to win the game — and not winning. There’s little doubt he’ll be waiting at the end of October when the Dolphins go to Orchard Park. And that’s good. It means this rivalry can mean something again.

“This is one game,” Allen said. “We’ll learn from this one tomorrow, take it on the chin and again prepare for next week.”

The Dolphins will learn, too. They’re believers. But then most Dolphins teams have been believers over the last couple of decades until results show them otherwise. This start suggests something different is happening.

They beat heavyweight Buffalo.

“A good win,” Tagovailoa said.

They’re 3-0.

“Three-and-oh is not our goal,” Wilkins said.

They’re first place in the AFC East.

“You don’t want to do yourself a disservice and fall short of your potential,” McDaniel said.

Yes, it’s September and there’s a long way to go. But when’s the last time you could say the Dolphins had to be mentioned among the contenders for anything but the No. 1 pick in the draft? When’s the last year you looked ahead at the good possibilities?

Can I get an, “Amen?”

“AMEN!”

Thank you.

()

google news
Continue Reading

News

NFLPA investigating Dolphins’ handling of Tagovailoa’s return vs. Bills; Tua says it was back injury

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Nflpa Investigating Dolphins’ Handling Of Tagovailoa’s Return Vs. Bills; Tua Says It Was Back Injury
google news

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa momentarily left the team’s 21-19 win over the Buffalo Bills late in the first half on Sunday before returning for the second half, and now the NFL Players Association is reportedly investigating if the team properly handled a concussion check.

The NFLPA initiated the investigation shortly after the Dolphins’ thriller against the Bills at Hard Rock Stadium went final, according to NFL Network.

The Dolphins declined to comment, but Tagovailoa and coach Mike McDaniel, after the game, said it was actually a back injury that caused the third-year signal-caller to miss the end of the first half. The team initially called it a head injury.

Tagovailoa was pushed by Bills linebacker Matt Milano after a pass he completed on the final play before the first half’s two-minute warning. Milano was flagged for roughing the passer.

The back of Tagovailoa’s head banged against the ground in a whiplash effect. Appearing woozy after getting up, Tagovailoa was walked off the field and into the locker room, under his own power, with trainers alongside him.

“I’m feeling good,” Tagovaila said. “Feels a lot better after a win.”

Tagovailoa said he got his legs stuck under someone on an earlier quarterback sneak and, amid the pushing, he felt his back was hyperextended. He said he stumbled after the Milano hit because his back locked up on him as he was getting up.

Said McDaniel: “When he hit his head on the ground, I assumed it was a head injury, but his legs got wobbly because his lower back was completely loose and, as he described it, he said his lower back was like Gumby or something.”

Tagovailoa added he did have to pass concussion protocol before he came out to the field for the second half. Backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater entered for Miami’s starting signal-caller to finish off the final series of the first half.

Tagovailoa’s best throw in his return was a 45-yard connection to Jaylen Waddle deep over the middle on third-and-22 that led to the go-ahead Chase Edmonds touchdown run.

“They ran quarters coverage, and they played really deep, so I tried to hold the field safety to Tyreek’s side,” said Tagovailoa, who finished 13 of 18 for 186 yards and a touchdown pass to River Cracraft, “and then I came back to Waddle, trusting that Waddle would beat his guys, which he did.

“It was uncomfortable going in. I guess you could say it was the adrenaline that was keeping me going with the throwing.”

Added McDaniel: “That’s a big play that I think Tua will always remember, that a lot of his teammates will because he was battling through, and that’s really hard.”

It’s the third consecutive time Tagovailoa has gotten hurt in a game against the Bills. In last year’s Week 2 meeting in Miami Gardens, an A.J. Epenesa hit sidelined Tagovailoa with fractured ribs and put him on short-term injured reserve to miss the ensuing three weeks. In the 2021 Oct. 31 game in Orchard Park, Tagovailoa finished the game but came away with a finger injury on his throwing hand that cost him the next one and a half games.

Tagovailoa’s availability will be a hot topic throughout the short week before a Thursday night game at the Cincinnati Bengals.

Armstead, Howard play

The Dolphins had left tackle Terron Armstead and cornerback Xavien Howard, who have six Pro Bowls between them, start in Sunday’s game after both entered questionable.

Meanwhile, the already-ailing Bills added safety Jordan Poyer to their inactives. Buffalo’s entire starting secondary of Poyer, fellow Pro Bowl safety Micah Hyde and cornerbacks Tre’Davious White (reserve/PUP) and Dane Jackson were out against the Dolphins.

The Bills had rookie cornerbacks Christian Benford and Kaiir Elam and backup safeties Jaquan Johnson and Damar Hamlin start.

Armstead played and made it through Sunday, holding up against All-Pro Bills edge rusher Von Miller despite missing the week of practice nursing a toe injury.

Howard, who was limited with a groin injury at Thursday and Friday practices after missing Wednesday’s session, largely drew the assignment of limiting Buffalo star receiver Stefon Diggs. Howard had six tackles and two pass deflections. Diggs finished with seven receptions for 74 yards.

Wide receiver Cedrick Wilson Jr. (ribs) was available for Miami after going in questionable, but he didn’t record a catch. The other Dolphin that entered questionable, defensive tackle Raekwon Davis (knee), was out Sunday. Miami started with a three-man defensive front that included Christian Wilkins, Zach Sieler and Emmanuel Ogbah. Cornerback Kader Kohou also got a start along with Nik Needham in the nickel formation.

Miami already had tight ends Hunter Long (ankle) and Cethan Carter (concussion protocol) listed as out entering Sunday.

Other Dolphins inactives were running back Myles Gaskin, quarterback Skylar Thompson and wide receiver Erik Ezukanma. The rookie signal-caller and wideout are healthy scratches for the third time in three weeks.

The Bils also had defensive tackles Ed Oliver and Jordan Phillips and center Mitch Morse among inactives. Wide receiver Gabe Davis and tight end Dawson Knox, who entered questionable, played.

Little injured; players deal with heat

Greg Little, who has been playing right tackle for the injured Austin Jackson, twice made exits with a finger injury but returned both times.

Little first came off the field late in the first half, and Larnel Coleman entered for him at right tackle. Little tried to return early in the second half, but quickly exited again. That time, right guard Robert Hunt slid out to right tackle, with Robert Jones inserted at guard until Little went back in again.

A number of players were affected by the South Florida heat and humidity, especially in the second half, as the official game-day weather was 89 degrees with 63 percent humidity.

Howard was seen running into the locker room in the third quarter, dealing with cramps. Diggs, Bills tight end Dawson Knox and wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie were also dealing with heat issues in the second half.

Buffalo right tackle Spencer Brown was out due to heat illness as the Bills were already dealing with Morse, their starting center, out. His backup, Greg Van Roten, exited at one point, and right guard Ryan Bates left to be evaluated for a head injury in the third quarter.

Dolphins linebacker Elandon Roberts suffered a quadriceps injury. Bills wide receiver Jake Kumerow exited Sunday’s game with an ankle injury.

()

google news
Continue Reading

News

With the Chicago Bears passing game malfunctioning, Roquan Smith and the defense take things into their own hands

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

With The Chicago Bears Passing Game Malfunctioning, Roquan Smith And The Defense Take Things Into Their Own Hands
google news

An argument can be made that the most impressive throw by a Chicago Bears player Sunday came with 1 minute, 5 seconds remaining, a 40-yard bomb launched near Soldier Field’s south end zone.

The throw came from a linebacker — why not? — during a stoppage of play immediately after the game’s biggest moment.

With his adrenaline pumping after a clutch interception, Roquan Smith wound up and heaved the football deep into the seats, aware that his Bears were moments away from defeating the Houston Texans 23-20 on a walk-off, chip-shot field goal.

“I tried to stop him,” safety Eddie Jackson said. “That’s a game-winning pick. You’ve got to keep that!”

Smith, though, didn’t need the football as much as he needed an emotional release. So he let it fly.

“To all my supporters,” he said with a big smile. “I threw that to all of them. And (I was) saying ‘F you’ to all that don’t.”

Yes, Chicago, your majorly flawed but still feisty Bears are 2-1, outlasting the winless Texans in such a Bears-like way, with Smith and the defense nudging the struggling offense to the side and offering a “We’ve got this” reprieve in the fourth quarter.

The Bears’ game-winning “drive”: four plays, zero yards.

It was basically a three-snap sideways shuffle to set up Cairo Santos’ game-winning 30-yard kick as time expired. That came thanks to Smith’s interception of Davis Mills and an 18-yard return.

And Smith’s third-down pick came in part because defensive tackle Angelo Blackson did his job up front, getting his right hand on Mills’ pass to Rex Burkhead and allowing Smith to snatch the fluttering ball at the Texans 30.

“If you can’t get to the quarterback, get your hands up,” Blackson said. “It was an opportune time. Just perfect, man.”

Added Smith: If I had had a little more juice in me, I could have cribbed it. But I was just thankful to be able to get it and then let the fans enjoy the ball.”

We could talk until we’re blue in the face about how little meaning Sunday’s victory carries for the Bears’ big-picture aspirations. This was an ordinary home win over a bottom-tier opponent and loaded with troubling sloppiness, particularly as it relates to the feeble passing attack and ongoing struggles of second-year quarterback Justin Fields.

Fields threw two more interceptions and, for the third consecutive game, failed to reach 10 completions or 125 passing yards.

“I played like trash,” Fields said. “I played terrible.”

But on defense the Bears are convinced they are making valuable strides and establishing an identity as a unit capable of seizing big moments and winning games.

Smith’s pick was the Bears’ second takeaway, the other coming in the first half when Jackson snagged a Mills pass to Brandin Cooks in the end zone. That throw was deflected by cornerback Kindle Vildor and corralled by Jackson near the end line.

“It’s just flying around,” Jackson said. “That’s what happens. When you hustle and play with intensity, good things start to happen.”

Just as Smith’s interception set up the Bears for free points, Jackson’s thwarted a prime Texans scoring opportunity on a drive that started inside Bears territory after Fields’ first interception.

Equally significant, after Fields threw his second pick on the first play of the fourth quarter to set up the Texans inside the Bears 40 in a tie game, the defense quickly extinguished that threat.

Defensive tackle Justin Jones came up with an 8-yard sack of Mills on second down. Linebacker Nick Morrow followed by burying Pharaoh Brown for a loss of 5 on a tight end screen on the next snap.

The Texans punted.

“That was a huge moment,” Smith said. “We preach about that, about being able to bow our necks and earn our checks.”

Added Jones: “We’re jelling together right now, becoming one close-knit unit. We’re well on our way to playing in midseason form.”

Smith’s play was nothing short of energizing. After missing practice the entire week with a hip injury, he recorded a game-high 16 tackles, including two for a loss.

“I was focused all week on giving myself a shot to play in this game,” he said. “I still wasn’t all the way there. But, hey, halfway (there) is better than no way.”

Hard to argue.

After Smith’s play in a 27-10 Week 2 loss to the Green Bay Packers was justifiably scrutinized — even he acknowledged it was subpar — the veteran linebacker arose Sunday and spearheaded a strong defensive effort.

Late in the third quarter, on third-and-1 from the Bears 2, Smith shot into the Texans backfield to bury running back Dameon Pierce for a 3-yard loss. That was a pivotal stop. The Texans settled for a tying field goal instead of surging ahead.

Naturally, as Smith works toward earning his next contract and regroups after his tension-filled training camp “hold-in,” all of his contributions this season will be assessed in part with an eye on how they might affect his future and his bid to be paid as one of the league’s best defenders.

Sunday’s game-winning interception was the kind of game-changing contribution many want to see more consistently as Smith tries to establish himself as an elite linebacker.

“I just try to play the best ball that I can play,” Smith said. “That’s my goal each and every week. And if I make big plays, I make them. But I’m not going out there wishing for things. I play my game and if good things happen, they happen.”

More importantly, as the Bears continue working through a patience-testing troubleshooting process to awaken their passing offense, they are finding other ways to succeed and leaning on areas of strength. On Sunday, that meant a reliance on a bruising running attack led by Khalil Herbert, who stepped up in a big way after David Montgomery left the game with a right knee/ankle injury.

Herbert turned 20 carries into 157 yards and two touchdowns. Overall, the Bears churned out 281 rushing yards, their highest single-game total since 1984.

Then late in the game, the Bears again turned to their defense, relying on the unit’s best player to come through in a major way. Smith responded with that pick and his celebratory bomb into the seats.

“That was pretty sweet,” he said. “I wish I could have thrown it out of the stadium.”

It was an impressive toss nonetheless — and a fitting punctuation on the afternoon.

()

google news
Continue Reading

News

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

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Khalil Herbert — With David Montgomery Injured And Justin Fields Playing Like Self-Proclaimed ‘Trash’ — Steps Up Big For Chicago Bears
google news

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.”

()

google news
Continue Reading

Trending