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The state of the Redskins, Week 4

Sep 30, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT


Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 3 of the NFL season.

Record: 1-2, T-2nd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 0-1
vs. NFC: 1-1
vs. AFC: 0-1
Home: 1-1
Away: 0-1

Key numbers changes from 2014-2015


Rankings (through Sunday’s games)

Offense (yards/game): 371.7 (12th)
Defense (yards/game): 277.3 (2nd)
Passer rating offense: 81.3 (22nd)
Opp passer rating: 96.3 (20th)
Yards/rush attempt: 4.6 (5th)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 3.6 (11th)
DVOA through Week 14 (Football Outsiders): 6.1% (13th)

Top three storylines:

A season on the brink?—Last year the Redskins started 1-1 but a four-game losing streak followed and the season essentially was over before the middle of October. This year they have a chance to right their season at home at the expense of a scuffling division rival in the Eagles. They need to take advantage of it.

Changing of the guard—Left guard Shawn Lauvao was playing well, frequently pulling and leading the way on successful runs to the left. Now he is out for the season and either Spencer Long or Arie Kouandjio will get his first NFL start on Sunday. It’s not an ideal situation but if you are going to have an inexperienced player on the line, guard is the place to have him.

In search of takeaways—The Redskins are turning the ball over more than they should—six times in three games. But they could partially mitigate those issues by take the ball away more frequently on defense. They have just one takeaway, the fumble that Preston Smith forced and recovered in the opener. Obviously, that needs to change.

Next three games

Sunday vs. Eagles (1-2)—Right now it looks like Chip Kelly deserves the dunce cap more than the genius label. His three highest-profile offseason acquisitions, running back DeMarco Murray, quarterback Sam Bradford, and cornerback Byron Maxwell, have been disappointments in the early going. We will see if they can right the ship against the Redskins

Oct. 11 @ Falcons (3-0)—Kyle Shanahan has Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and the rest of the Atlanta offense rolling and Dan Quinn has the team believing. In their last two games they have overcome double-digit deficits on the road to win against the Giants and Cowboys the last two weeks.

Oct. 18 @ Jets (2-1)—Former Redskins safety Todd Bowles (1986-1990, 1991-1992) has the Jets playing pretty well. They are getting it done the way the Redskins want to get it done, with a stout defense, a game managing QB, and a stout rushing attack.

  1. bangkokben - Sep 30, 2015 at 11:38 AM

    Second place! Let’s keep that position as long as possible.

  2. abanig - Sep 30, 2015 at 11:39 AM

    Basically, the team isn’t that much – if at all better – than what it was last year.

    The Redskins don’t have a consistent qb, a great pass rush, they don’t have a lot of playmakers on the back end to make turnovers, their special teams blocking and coverage units are abysmal.

    We’ve seen this story before, haven’t we?

    The team is a loser with Gruden coaching it. Period!!

    • bangkokben - Sep 30, 2015 at 11:59 AM

      The kick-off coverage has been vastly improved since week 2. Also, 2nd place!

      • abanig - Sep 30, 2015 at 12:26 PM

        Coverage isn’t better. They’re saving a few yards on kick offs be user Hopkins kicks it in the endzone but that’s about it so far.

        Punt coverage is abysmal. Blocking for our punt returner is abysmal. Our punter kicks line drives too often and our punter in slow in getting the ball off which was part of the issue on why his punt was blocked last week.

        • bangkokben - Sep 30, 2015 at 12:42 PM

          Sure, it’s the punter. The kick-off coverage has been better by replacing ONE guy. That difference in yardage is often the difference in winning and losing – although indirectly. The Redskins won the field position battle against the Rams and won the game. They lost the field position battle against the Giants and lost the game. One key Sunday, will be winning this battle. If Ross takes out the opening kick-off and gets to the 17-yard line, as he did Thursday, long game.

          If you have to put on IR special team stalwarts (Paul and Hayward), other special teamers (Ihenacho and Rogers – even Paulsen and Redd), and draft picks specifically selected for special teams (Mitchell, Spencer, and Spaight); those units are going to suck. When next man up is on the bottom of the roster, the teams are going to suck. When you have to elevate special team players like Trenton Robinson and Will Compton to increased or starting roles, teams are going to suck. When you need a on-side kick needing to be recovered, you suddenly have a bunch of tools wondering what they’re supposed to do.

        • abanig - Sep 30, 2015 at 2:47 PM

          Bang. 5 to 10 yards on a kick off return for out opponents will not equate to that many more wins for this football team. It’s miniscule. Ross taking a kickoff to the 17-yard line and not the 20 did not lose the Redskins the game. Kirk Cousins’ turnovers, Matt Jones’ fumble and out lousy punt block team/Tress Way taking his sweet old time getting a punt off cost the Redskins the game.

          It’s the kick off coverage, punt coverage and blocking which are the main issues with this teams special teams and they’ve been the issues since Danny Smith left for Pittsburgh and we didn’t keep Lorenzo Alexander. Yes, Paul and Hayward are better than their replacements, but they are only two guys out of 10 who are covering kicks.

          It’s a major issue. It’s been a major issue, and it will remain a major issue until we get some DBs, WRs, TE’s and back up LBs who relish in playing special teams and make plays covering kicks.

          Every team deals with injuries, its just the Redskins always seem to deal with it worse and that’s why we are constantly bottom feeders.

        • bangkokben - Sep 30, 2015 at 4:30 PM

          We’ve lost at least seven special teamers including the two best. When you draft guys specifically for teams and they end up on the IR that’s hard luck. This team has made specific efforts to improve special teams personnel over the past two seasons, only to see their efforts end up injured. So, yeah, they need players with the want-to and the know-how for teams but right now all they have left of Jeron Johnson.

          Field position contributes to wins and losses especially for a team devoid of playmakers with a turnover problem.

          Of course every team deals with injuries. Fortunately for us, injuries have affected special teams mostly.

        • abanig - Sep 30, 2015 at 5:00 PM

          Somehow that post seems like Groundhod day to me, meaning – I hear it every year from most fans. :-/

        • bangkokben - Sep 30, 2015 at 5:05 PM

          Look we both know that this team can’t be fortified overnight, but it’s not like the organization isn’t seeing the weaknesses and putting resources in those areas. Offensive line, defensive line, safety position, special teams, outside linebacker opposite Kerrigan. Now we might disagree on the use of these resources and not every effort is going to succeed. At least now we’ve got people who see the problem and address it.

    • sidepull - Sep 30, 2015 at 12:24 PM

      I think the injuries played a significant part in what we have been seeing. Especially on ST with the loss of Adam Hayward and Niles Paul. Jr. Gallete may have given that pass rush a much needed boost and right out of the gate we loose Djax. I think on paper, what they saw at the beginning of the year looked hopeful. Now, with the injury bug hitting hard early on, Gruden and staff are tweeking and making adjustments I am sure they were not thinking they were going to have to make all at once. I mean it has been one injury after another. The must be cursed right?

      I hope they launch a few balls deep to Ross or whoever is being covered by Byron Maxwell. They got to at least get a couple PI calls off that guy hopfully.

      • abanig - Sep 30, 2015 at 12:42 PM

        It is true that injuries have affected our special teams and pass rush but every team has them.

      • bangkokben - Sep 30, 2015 at 12:44 PM

        I’d go after EJ Biggers but having a few options is nice.

  3. colmac69 - Sep 30, 2015 at 1:09 PM

    Not lot different from this to last so far going by those stats

    However the stats the other day are more relevant imo….better 3rd dwn comps/red zone efficiency and def pts allowed….if we can continue to improve on them and reduce t/o ratio then we will win more games than lose

    Big game Sunday cause loss to philly combined with games away to atlanta (give kyle Ryan and Julio jones as combination) then jets u could b looking 1-5 and mass hysteria among the posters on here

    • abanig - Sep 30, 2015 at 2:09 PM

      Converting on 3rd downs doesn’t matter if you suck in the Redzone – which we still do.

      • colmac69 - Sep 30, 2015 at 4:01 PM

        Think a 20% increase in red zone efficiency this yr from last yr is decent (albeit on short sample of three games)…if they can maintain that over 16 games or possibly get better then they will score some pts

        Let’s face it winning is only thing that counts regardless of how it’s achieved…if cousins throws 2tds and 6 ints over nxt three games but we win all three u think majority fans are still shouting for rgiii to get a shot? Winning makes lots of things go away and that’s bottom line

        • abanig - Sep 30, 2015 at 4:24 PM

          If Cousins throws that many ints vs that many TDs, most fans will wonder how much better they could be ok offense with Griffin or McCoy in there still.

          If the Redskins win some games over the next 3 or 4, Cousins better play at least how he did against the Rams – if not better – or the chants for RG3 will start even if the Redskins are around .500.

          Any qb can hand the ball off 35 to 40 times and throw 2 or 3 ints a game and win because the running game and defense won you the game! That doesn’t mean he’s the best qb on the roster and deserves to keep starting.

      • bangkokben - Sep 30, 2015 at 4:33 PM

        We don’t suck in the Red Zone, Matt Jones does.

        • abanig - Sep 30, 2015 at 4:47 PM

          Take Matt Jones out of the equation. Kirk has had us at or around the redZone 3 or 4 times other than the ones we scored on in the first three games and he’s failed to get it done.

          Not only did we not get to settle for field goals like we would have if out other qbs had been starting, but he threw short to Reed twice and threw an interception on a pass attempt to Garcon that neither of our other qbs even attempt to make.

          It’s NOT good enough! Kirk is NOT a good enough situational qb to lead this team to wins. More often than not Kirk will make the bonehead decision with the ball instead of taking the checkdowns, tunning for 5 to 10 yards, throwing the ball away or even taking a sack.

          A qb Running with the ball, throwing the ball away or taking a sack is better than a turnover in your own territory or in the redzone. Everyday of the week and twice on Sunday’s!

        • bangkokben - Sep 30, 2015 at 5:01 PM

          The REDZONE is a clearly defined area of the field. Near the redzone is not the same. So if you want to complain about that area, fine. If you want to complain about THE FOUR turnovers – where only the last two hurt the team, that’s fine too. But the redzone has been an IMPROVEMENT and so has 3rd down. If Cousins play against the Giants continues in the future, then he’ll be replaced. Now if he plays like he did in the first two weeks, then Griff will stay on the bench and fans like you will bash Cousins for any mistake.

        • colmac69 - Sep 30, 2015 at 5:15 PM

          Players/coaches just want to win period

          Doesn’t matter who qb is…how gd they look/don’t look…throw ints/get sacked

          Just win baby as someone said

          If running ball 40 times and great def get you record of say 11-5 and playoffs then gimme that right now

          Take cowboys game in 2012 to win div

          Rg throws for 100yrds whole game….we rush for bout 250 plus def ints romo 3 times I think we win 28-18. ….u would take that all day I believe

        • colmac69 - Sep 30, 2015 at 5:23 PM

          Albanig bn depressing me reading his positive posts so took to you tube and watched some great redskin games from past esp games at rfk….

          Totally irrelevant to this discussion but man what place rfk was vs cowboys or giants

          Apologies but had to cheer myself up

        • wvredskins - Sep 30, 2015 at 5:27 PM

          abanig you say all this stuff as if it is fact. please use “IMO” because me personally can see Cousins fixing those issues. Thank you and have a nice day

        • abanig - Sep 30, 2015 at 6:27 PM

          I would believe he could if it wasn’t a 3 year pattern. I gave him the benefit of the doubt last year and this offseason – in fact I think he should have played more during last season to see if he could overcome his mistakes.

          Enough is enough though, IMO. He’s not Robert. He isn’t totally raw as a west coast qb. Cousins is as experienced as many in the league in the west coast and he’s making all kinds of mistakes.

          Sometimes, you are who you are.

        • bangkokben - Sep 30, 2015 at 6:41 PM

          Well done, Adam. You have waited until Cousins first multi-turnover game of the season to state your preconceived conclusion. Good for you.

          I suspect that IF Cousins has a decent season here and the team does want to build with him, that he will walk a la Trent Green. Who needs this fan base?

        • abanig - Sep 30, 2015 at 7:07 PM

          Wrong Trent. Hes Trent Dilfer w/o the leadership qualities. He’ll need an historically good defense and special teams to get any where near the super bowl ever.

          We do want to win the super bowl again right?

          Or do we want to be 9-7/10-6 some day and just make the playoffs. I’ll give you there’s a possibility Cousins luck boxes himself into that one day.

          For as much as you all want to erase the 2012 season off of Griffin’s resume, you can’t. He’s always going to be that guy who took a bad roster and had it at its first nfce division championship & home playoff game in 13 years and up 14-0 before tearing knee ligaments against arguably the greatest out to together team in the last 5 years.

          I’m glad McCloughan hasn’t given up on Griffin yet and I’m glad for once in his life that Snyder is showing patience with coaches and quarterbacks as they develop.

        • bangkokben - Sep 30, 2015 at 8:32 PM

          Super Bowl or Bust is the mantra for folks like you. Please buy a lottery ticket tonight. I wish you the best there. I also wish the best for Griffin – even here because I also bought a lottery ticket tonight. And right now Griff being on the roster is basically that $2 a person plans to use to buy a PowerBall ticket. So maybe we wait for the jackpot to hit $300M maybe a cool $1B: it’s different for everyone and Griff is Snyder’s two bucks.

          So you get the point, right? Because basically Griffin leading the Redskins to the Super Bowl is about the same chance you or I win tonight’s Powerball. It is no longer April 2012. Two serious injuries and two head coaches giving up on him has basically reduced him to a 1 in 292,201,338 play. And the rationale you and your lot give the rest of us is that Cousins ceiling is mediocre. Well sign me up for mediocre because picking in the top two hasn’t helped the Rams a whole lot and that’s what we can expect if the QB can’t protect himself.

          Here’s something else that is more recent then the fantastic playoff memory:

        • hail74 - Sep 30, 2015 at 7:22 PM

          Nobody wants to erase 2012, it was a great year. It was also 3 years ago. Rg3 backers just want to erase those years.

  4. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Sep 30, 2015 at 1:12 PM

    In the big picture, the team’s talent level has been significantly improved.

    But 1) this is coming from so little to begin with, and 2) the injuries are preventing that team from taking the field now.

    3) OTOH, today’s NFL has made the QB position paramount. And it looks like we don’t have an answer. I was hoping we wouldn’t see bad Kirk again this year, but he was on the field Thursday.

    • abanig - Sep 30, 2015 at 2:01 PM

      The talent we added on defense – besides Preston Smith – is also in the middle of their careers trending towards the end of their careers.

      Culliver, Golston, Knighton, Paea, and RJF are not spring chickens. They’re stop gaps! Jeron Johnson is a total disappointment. When we signed him I thought he’d be a starter, and he can’t even beat out Trenton Robinson. Other than drafting Scherff & Jones, our offense is the same as last year’s essentially.

      If Redskins fans don’t see that the team is trending below mediocre to bad then they need to take the burgundy & gold glasses off.

      • hail74 - Sep 30, 2015 at 2:32 PM

        So in your opinion how long should it take to overhaul an entire roster with good young talent?

        • abanig - Sep 30, 2015 at 2:58 PM

          4 or 5 years. We’re talking about multiple drafts here fellas. If Griffin & Kirk aren’t the answer at QB – which looks to be the case – we have to draft a new QB next year in round 1. Garcon is getting old at WR, Djax is no spring chicken and may not want to stay on our team and be a bottom feeder as we rebuild for the 15th time in 15 years anyways. Our DL is old, we will need 2 or 3 new starters within a few years. If we don’t start playing Preston Smith more at ROLB to see if he can be near a 10 sack a year guy – which I doubt he can – then we need to think about upgrading the ROLB spot with someone who’s equivalent to Orakpo as a speed pass rusher – preferably better. We need a free safety that has some speed and can make plays on the ball, we basically need a FS who’s nearly as good as our corners in coverage.

          This year we are trying the stop gap route. I understand we have to do this as we try to fill the roster with more youth but we don’t have that many true impact players on our team and I don’t see them popping up magically anytime soon.

        • hail74 - Sep 30, 2015 at 3:21 PM

          Ok I agree with all that. I just don’t think you can have a roster without some veteran stop gaps. I mistook your post as a “sky is falling and the idiots in Redskins park can’t see it”type. My apologies

      • jonevans511 - Sep 30, 2015 at 3:24 PM

        Bro…. Chris Culliver is 27. Knighton is 29, but Vince Wilfork is 33 and Haloti Gnata is 31 (not that they are the exact same players, just pointing some things out) so I’m not sure what your point is there considering the nature of his position. Paea is 27. Jean-Francois is 28. The only player on the wrong side of 30 based on the list you gave is Golston, who is not a focal point of our defense regardless. If anything the only other player you could have added in terms of the DL is Hatcher, but we knew going in to it that he wouldn’t last forever. But if you’re implying players in the range of 27-29 are “not spring chickens” then not many teams are filled with spring chickens.

      • bangkokben - Sep 30, 2015 at 4:41 PM

        Dude you are way overstating things. Every team has weaknesses AND every player is a stop gap.

        • abanig - Sep 30, 2015 at 4:59 PM

          Yeah, we just seem to have more weaknesses than a majority of the team’s in the NFL these after year after year.

  5. princewilks - Sep 30, 2015 at 1:15 PM


    The stats you posted are interesting. And, although the numbers show some improvement. is there a way to determine how we compared to teams last year in positions similar to ours? What i mean is, we show a good defense by yards allowed per game, but it is also worth noting that opposing offenses don’t long fields to work with due to poor ST play and turnovers by our offense in our half of the field.

    Is it too much to ask if either you gather such stats or point me in the right direction to determine how do we fare against the rest of the league if, for example, our defense allows only 40-50 yards on a TD drive that started on our half of the field due to a pick/fumble? And how many of those times did we limit the opposing offense to 0-3 points?

    • hail74 - Sep 30, 2015 at 1:39 PM

      If I’m reading football outsiders correctly then our offensive drive success rate is 17th in the league while our defensive drive success rate is 7th.

      • hail74 - Sep 30, 2015 at 1:45 PM

        We’re also 29th in turnovers per drive with 3 supposed better offenses in SD,Det and Indy behind us but tied for last in Defensive turnovers per drive with Jax.

    • goback2rfk - Sep 30, 2015 at 8:35 PM

      Its only been 3 games I want to see what the stats say after 8 games.

  6. kenlinkins - Sep 30, 2015 at 2:19 PM

    A very good coach once told me that stats are for losers, the only stat that means anything is WINS. I still believe that and I know that if the Redskins go 2-6 to start this year with the soft part of the schedule behind them, there will be few Redskins fans who care about the first half stats. The Redskins must find a way to get back to 500% at the half way point. That means 3-2 the next five games. Any win after that shows improvement and builds hope for 2016. If the Redskins are still fighting for that 4th win after X-Mas we must call 2016 a failure, another false start, a season that could have started off well but went down in flames (maybe due to injury, RG3’s option, head Coach’s bet on Cousin, poor draft and free agent signings, __________ fill in your own chief reason). That’s is when I look at the stats to see who stays and who get’s replaced. IMO: The Redskins are at a cross roads and the last 2 times here the Redskins fell on their face. They really must win the next 4 games, get to 5-2 before facing New England. Even if they fall off the cliff after that and go 6-10 or 7-9 they can then blame injury as a main cause, other wise it is back to the beginning and start all over again. WINS, that is the only cure!

    • abanig - Sep 30, 2015 at 2:31 PM

      How could people still blame Griffin if he’s not playing. That would be interesting…

      His option means nothing right now. He can still be cut in March w/o us paying anything.

      If he didn’t have the option teams wouldn’t want to trade for him anyways because he would be a free agent anyways.

      If affects Cousins, well that just means he doesn’t have the sack to be an NFL starter anyways.

      • hail74 - Sep 30, 2015 at 2:35 PM

        I think he means that people would blame the losing season on Rg3 not playing, not blaming Rg3 for losing.

    • kenlinkins - Sep 30, 2015 at 2:33 PM

      Did anyone else see Amerson play for Oakland last week? He played 42% of the D-snaps at CB and didn’t give up much of anything. He looked much better then he did in DC. How can a guy improve that much in one week?

      • hail74 - Sep 30, 2015 at 2:38 PM

        I saw him play and he looked exactly the same. Good on some bad on some.

      • abanig - Sep 30, 2015 at 3:08 PM

        He’s a young corner, like Breeland he will be up and down. The biggest issue Amerson had in DC was he was horrible on special teams, like most of that 2013 draft class – with the exception of possibly Chris Thompson. Amerson wasn’t a starter anymore because we signed Culliver, Hall was back and Breeland is better. When you’re the 4th or 5th corner, you must be a special teams star and Amerson was horrible at it. That’s where Shanahan screwed up the most. He didn’t fill this roster with special teams guys, he was more concerned with having another playmaker than a guy who killed himself on special teams. It has also been a slow process with Allen, Gruden and McCloughan filling those gaps as well.

      • goback2rfk - Sep 30, 2015 at 8:38 PM

        Amerson is going to be a nice pick up for Oakland. He just needed to get his feet under himself.
        Our man Leonard Hankerson is also putting together a nice little start to his season including a big TD grab.

        • kenlinkins - Sep 30, 2015 at 11:57 PM

          Rambo is putting together a nice year also. You have to wonder about so many guys moving on and doing well. I do not know the answer and wouldn’t even make a guess, but if you could fix whatever it is the roster talent would have to be better in the long run.

        • abanig - Oct 1, 2015 at 8:32 AM

          It’s coaching and player development. The redskins have had an issue with this for a while now. Hasslet’s defense was also complicated. It was very hard for rookies and second year players to pick up. That’s why our young secondary players kept blowing assignments. Barry’s defense is more simple. That should help younger players develop faster.

          The truth is the Redskins have never had the patience or the long term vision to develop young players. Ever! It’s really been a problem throughout our history, even when Gibbs was here. If the guy didn’t show something as a rookie or second year player they were gone instead of continuing to work on that player and develop them so that hopefully in year 3 or 4 they could become a contributor.

  7. Rafael - Sep 30, 2015 at 5:16 PM

    My prayers for this entire Redskins to succeed this season without both failures and injuries.

    We already know what caused this long downhill, since 1997.

    • abanig - Sep 30, 2015 at 7:11 PM

      You mean 94? The redskins have been mediocre at best 5 years before Snyder bought the team. From 94-99 the Redskins won 1 division championship and 1 playoff game.

      You certainly can’t blame that decade after the 91-92 super bowl on Snyder. That one was all on the failed team building of the likes of Casserly and Norv Turner.

  8. Johnny B. - Sep 30, 2015 at 6:34 PM

    I wish you guys would just stop crying. Our new GM stated when he got here that change will happen but it would take a couple of years to get to where the team needs to be. That means we need more good players at all positions for starters and depth. So when injury happens it should not affect the team as bad . We should have it on the o-line and at wide out. We had it at corner but too many injuries at that position now not so much. If we get better than 6 wins this year I will be happy and looking forward to next year. I want to see what kind of a team that Scott can build. Maybe next year 1st round will be a good olb or pot roast jr. So sit back and enjoy the ride. By the way I think Callahan will be the coach for 2017 or earlier.

    • Skulb - Sep 30, 2015 at 6:39 PM

      How dare you have perspective? Pick a QB and moan and whine endlessly like the rest of us please.

      • Johnny B. - Sep 30, 2015 at 8:19 PM

        Ok ok I will have to choose RG COUSINS LOL

    • goback2rfk - Sep 30, 2015 at 8:23 PM

      I believe Scott will ultimately do the right thing and we should trust in him for sure. However, I hope he figures out the quarterback position sooner than later.

      Lets take a look at these fine Quarterbacks the Redskins have had for the last decade or so:

      Kirk Cousins
      Rex Grossman
      John Beck
      Donovan McFlab
      Jason Campbell
      Todd Collins
      Patrick Ramsey
      Shane Matthews
      Danny Weurfel
      Brad Johnson

      I could keep going but I will stop there. Please Scott figure this QB thing out cause we need some major stability at the position. Its hard to win without a top notch QB. I want a QB i can get excited about. Rg3 got me excited his first year but those days are long gone.

  9. redskingeorge28 - Oct 1, 2015 at 9:43 PM

    Didn’t we also use Tony Banks and Rob Johnson at some point the last decade?

  10. redskingeorge28 - Oct 1, 2015 at 9:45 PM

    Hankerson isn’t the only playing well in Atlanta, so are Chris Chester and Tyler Polumbus of all the castoffs. Not good enough to be on the Redskins but good enough to be starting on a 3-0 team on the rise, go figure.

    • Rich Tandler - Oct 2, 2015 at 4:51 AM

      Polumbus was cut earlier this week. Archives

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