Michael Thomas believes New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees still has "so much more that he can do" after breaking the NFL record for most passing touchdowns on Monday.

The 40-year-old threw four touchdowns in the 34-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, with the third of those seeing Brees surpass Peyton Manning's all-time haul of 539.

Brees failed to reach 4,000 passing yards for the first time in his New Orleans career last season and, having missed five games this time around due to injury, he may not reach 3,000 in the 2019 regular season.

Yet Thomas is adamant the veteran is not winding down in the likely latter days of his career.

"That [record] is a blessing for him, but he's not done," Thomas told reporters.

"There is so much more that he can do. He's an incredible leader.

"We just follow his lead and we follow everything that he has."

Brees completed a remarkable 29 of his 30 passing attempts on Monday and 12 of those completions went to wide receiver Thomas.

That took his tally for the season to 133, just 10 short of Marvin Harrison's record for the most receptions in a single season.

While Thomas may soon become a record-breaker too, all the focus on Monday was on Brees' latest milestone, which came in front of some of the team-mates alongside whom he won Super Bowl XLIV.

"I think it's great that his peers were here," added head coach Sean Payton.

"I mean, he has a lot of peers though, right? When you play this long, we call him Benjamin Button! 

"There's been a number of other milestones and I think it's still about winning.

"It's a fluid record, though. There's still another quarterback in New England [Tom Brady]."

Brady has thrown 538 touchdowns, three fewer than Brees.

New Orleans Saints star Drew Brees said breaking Peyton Manning's record for most touchdown passes in NFL history was an "incredible moment".

Brees eclipsed Manning after posting his 541st career TD pass in the Saints' comprehensive 34-7 victory over the struggling Indianapolis Colts on Monday.

The Saints quarterback, who entered the game with 537 TD passes, also set the NFL single-game completion record with a 96.7 per cent performance at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

Brees went 29 of 30 for 307 yards and four touchdowns and the 40-year-old – a Super Bowl champion and MVP – reflected on his record-breaking night.

"It was special - everything about tonight," Brees told reporters. "I don't know how they pick 'em. 'Monday Night Football', we're playing the Colts, a team that we won the Super Bowl against 10 years ago.

"The whole Super Bowl XLIV team was back for the 10th anniversary, and obviously national television. Big game and that record in the balance. It just makes you shake your head. Are you kidding me? Not sure how we got here.

"It just makes your career flash before your eyes. I never thought I would have the chance to be part of something like this. Looking at the entire journey, 19 years from five years in San Diego to 14 years here.

"All the incredible team-mates and coaches, this team right here, of course our fanbase, loved ones, my family, my kids. Just an incredible night, experience and moment."

"I wouldn't be here without [head coach] Sean [Payton]," Brees said. "The time we've had together, the experiences we've had. From the very beginning, what he's built here as far as the foundation and culture.

"[General manager] Mickey Loomis as well. Two of the most integral parts of the organisation and certainly the reason I'm here. I'll be forever indebted to those guys. I love them."

Brees made history with his five-yard pass to team-mate Josh Hill in the third quarter as the Saints improved to 11-3 for the season on Monday.

"I love the fact it was Josh Hill, oddly enough he was the honorary captain this week for the team, which means we roast him in our Saturday meeting," Brees added.

"So it was pretty fitting it was him. Here is an undrafted rookie free agent who joined in 2013, the epitome of a great team-mate, an unsung hero and a guy who has done the dirty work.

"… I have so much trust and confidence in him. The minute we walk up the ball and I see the look, I definitely thought touchdown. It played out just the way we thought as far as the play-call and him being wide open. I'm really glad it was him."

Tom Brady and Brett Favre congratulated Drew Brees after the New Orleans Saints quarterback set the NFL record for most career touchdown passes.

Brees surpassed Peyton Manning after taking his overall tally to 541 TD passes as the Saints crushed the Indianapolis Colts 34-7 on Monday.

A Super Bowl champion and MVP, 12-time Pro Bowler Brees – who made history in the third quarter – threw four scores in an almost flawless performance in New Orleans.

Brees also set the NFL single-game completion record with a 96.7 per cent performance after going 29 of 30 for 307 yards at Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

New England Patriots superstar Brady – whose 538 mark was also eclipsed by Brees – and Hall of Famer Favre led the praise for the 40-year-old via social media.

Brady tweeted: "Congrats drew!! Couldn't be more deserving. Passing Peyton in anything is an incredible achievement and your records will be tough to beat! But it's worth trying [winking emoji]."

Favre, who was the first quarterback to pass for 500 touchdowns, wrote: "Congrats @drewbrees on an amazing achievement."

Another Hall of Famer Kurt Warner – who won the Super Bowl and MVP during his career – also hailed Brees following the achievement.

"On a historic night for @drewbrees seems only fitting that he has also tied the record for completion percentage in a game at 96.7 per cent [tying Philip Rivers]... Coach Payton - how about one more screen pass to make this an even more historic night?? #WhatSayYouWhoDat?"

Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson wrote via Twitter, "LEGEND! @DrewBrees", while Washington Redskins veteran Adrian Peterson added: "First Ballot Hall of Famer. Congratulations @drewbrees!!!".

Record-breaking quarterback Drew Brees led the New Orleans Saints to a 34-7 win against the Indianapolis Colts on Monday.

Saints star Brees made NFL history with his 540th career touchdown pass, eclipsing Peyton Manning for the record at Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Brees broke the record with his third TD pass of the game in the third quarter, connecting with tight end Josh Hill on a five-yard throw in New Orleans.

The Super Bowl champion and MVP's fourth touchdown of the night was the 541st scoring pass of his career, a 28-yard TD to Taysom Hill as the Saints moved 34-0 ahead.

Brees, who was replaced by Teddy Bridgewater in the fourth quarter, also set the NFL single-game completion record with a 96.7 per cent performance – 29 of 30 passes for 307 yards.

The Saints improved to 11-3 for the season and kept their hopes of a top-two NFC seeding alive in a battle with the San Francisco 49ers (11-3) and Green Bay Packers (11-3), while a fourth consecutive loss eliminated the Colts (6-8) from postseason contention.

After Wil Lutz's 33-yard field goal gave the Saints a 3-0 first-quarter lead, 12-time Pro Bowler Brees took centre stage in the second period.

Brees threw a 15-yard pass to Michael Thomas – who broke the record for most games with at least 10 receptions in a season – for a 10-0 advantage before connecting with Tre'Quan Smith just over six minutes later – the Saints taking a 20-lead into the interval.

History was made in the third period when Brees passed to Josh Hill and the 40-year-old was not done there as he picked out Taysom Hill on a 28-yard pass with less than a minute remaining.

Brees was relieved by Bridgewater in the fourth, which saw the Colts finally get on the board via Jordan Wilkins' one-yard run.

Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett was 18 of 34 for 165 yards and no touchdowns on the road.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees broke the NFL record for most career touchdown passes.

Brees moved up in the record books yet again, surpassing Peyton Manning with his 540th TD pass on Monday.

A Super Bowl champion and MVP, 12-time Pro Bowler Brees made history by tallying three scores against the Indianapolis Colts.

Brees – who passed New England Patriots QB Tom Brady (538) in the process – set the record with a five-yard pass to Josh Hill in the third quarter.

Prior to Monday's game, the 40-year-old Brees had 537 career TD passes, 76,577 career passing yards and an NFL-best 67.5 career completion percentage.

Josh Gordon has been suspended indefinitely for violating the NFL's policies on performance-enhancing substances and substances of abuse.

The wide receiver was claimed by the Seattle Seahawks in November, posting seven catches for 139 yards in five games.

However, Gordon has now been banned for a fifth time in eight years over a substance abuse issue, with the suspension confirmed by the Seahawks - who posted a one-line statement from an NFL spokesperson - on Twitter.

"Josh Gordon of the Seattle Seahawks has been suspended indefinitely without pay for violating the NFL policies on performance-enhancing substances and substances of abuse," the tweet read.

The 28-year-old was previously suspended in December 2018 after announcing he would be stepping away from football to focus on his mental health.

When reinstating the player in August ahead of the new season, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement: "We are all rooting for Josh to succeed, both personally and professionally.

"Everyone shares in that hope and will continue to support him to every extent possible. But as Josh acknowledged, ultimately his success is up to him."

Gordon played six games in 2019 for the New England Patriots – recording 20 catches for 287 yards and a touchdown – before he was waived by the reigning Super Bowl champions.

His only reception in Seattle's 30-24 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday saw him connect with quarterback Russell Wilson on a 58-yard catch.

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer offered a positive update over Dalvin Cook's health on Monday, though admitted it is "too early" to say whether the running back will play against the Green Bay Packers.

Cook suffered a shoulder injury in the third quarter of the Vikings' 39-10 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, a result that improves the team's record to 10-4.

In his absence, Mike Boone ran for 56 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries, while Zimmer also used Ameer Abdullah as part of a revamped rushing attack in the absence of their starter.

Next up is a crucial battle against NFC North rivals Green Bay in Week 16, with Minnesota just one game back of their opponents in the standings heading into the televised Monday match-up.

Asked during a press conference if Cook could play through the injury if needs be, Zimmer replied: "Yeah. It feels good today.

"It's too early, but the extra day helps. We'll just have to see how the week goes."

A second-round pick by Minnesota in the 2017 NFL Draft, Cook has rushed for 1,135 yards and 13 touchdowns this season.

His absence would be a blow for the Vikings, though Zimmer is confident the team have enough strength in depth at the position.

"I thought Boone did a nice job, he ran hard," he said. "When Dalvin was in there, it was a little tougher sledding because some of their guys out-ran some of our guys to get to some of the plays. But, overall, I thought it was good.

"I like these guys. They can do a lot of different things, and that helps. That helps in the passing game and they are good runners."

Lamar Jackson unsurprisingly led the way in fan voting for this season's NFL Pro Bowl after final figures were released on social media on Monday.

The Baltimore Ravens quarterback has enjoyed an outstanding season, throwing for 33 touchdowns and running for seven more to help his team clinch the AFC North.

His performances have Jackson as the firm favourite to be crowned MVP, and he is clearly hugely popular fans, too, garnering 704,699 Pro Bowl votes.

Jackson's tally sees him finish comfortably ahead of fellow quarterback Russell Wilson, with the Seattle Seahawk second with 539,768 votes.

The 22-year-old, selected with the 32nd pick in the 2018 draft, is not the only Raven to be recognised for his performances, as Mark Andrews (331,796) was the popular choice at tight end, and Justin Tucker (187,814) got the nod as the AFC's kicker.

Offensive linemen Orlando Brown (188,787) and Marshal Yanda (192,580) are also on the list at tackle and guard respectively, with Patrick Ricard (152,877) making the cut at fullback, while team-mate Marcus Peters (231,601) proved to be the most popular cornerback for the conference.

The San Francisco 49ers – who clinched a playoff berth on Sunday despite a surprise defeat to the Atlanta Falcons – have five selections, including rookie defensive end Nick Bosa, who is joined on the list by older brother Joey of the Los Angeles Chargers.

Nick Chubb of the Cleveland Browns topped the running-back positions for the AFC, while the NFC voting at the position was led by Dalvin Cook of the Minnesota Vikings.

However, none of those selected are certain to start just yet. The fan vote counts for one third of the final tally, with coaches and players given an equal share.

The full rosters, including starters and reserves, will be announced on Tuesday ahead of the 2020 Pro Bowl, which takes place in Orlando on January 26.

J.J. Watt is working to return from injured reserve ahead of the playoffs and the Houston Texans are open to the possibility of bringing him back if he makes sufficient progress.

Coach Bill O'Brien revealed Watt had made positive steps in his recovery from a torn pectoral he suffered in October that was initially expected to have brought his NFL season to an end.

The Texans will monitor the defensive end closely with a view to him returning to the roster for Week 17 or the postseason should they seal a playoff berth.

Watt, 30, sustained the injury in Week 8 as the Texans won against the Oakland Raiders, saying afterwards "this game can be beautiful and it can also be brutal".

The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year also missed significant portions of the 2016 and 2017 campaigns with season-ending injuries.

But his possible return for the postseason would come as a massive boost for a Texans team who regained control of the AFC South with a 24-21 road win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

It was a victory that saw them bounce back from a poor defeat against the Denver Broncos last time out and move to 9-5 for the 2019 season.

"J.J. is working very, very hard," O'Brien, whose team are yet to use their second IR/designated to return spot, told reporters on Monday.

"He's certainly made progress based on his work ethic and who he's working within the training room. We will see how it goes."

Watt recorded four sacks, a forced fumble and three passes defended in his eight games this year.

The Buffalo Bills booked their place in the NFL playoffs on Sunday, but quarterback Josh Allen said their aim is to secure a spot at Super Bowl LIV.

Allen opened the scoring by finding the end zone with a one-yard rush and in the fourth quarter he threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Kroft to clinch a 17-10 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field.

The second-year signal caller went 13-of-25 passing for 139 yards, one touchdown and one interception as the Bills improved to 10-4 and made the postseason for just the second time since the 1999-00 season.

"Coach [Sean McDermott] preaches playoff calibre, that's the standard we hold ourselves to. The goal is to get yourself into position to have a shot at the Super Bowl," said Allen.

"We have two more crucial games that could really dictate the outcome of where we are seeded. It's a good position to be in, but we've got to attack these next weeks.

"We understood what we were playing for. The goal is not just to get into the playoffs, so there's a lot of work to be done and a lot of things to be learned from the tape."

Buffalo have now made the playoffs in two of Sean McDermott's three seasons as head coach and he expressed pride at turning the franchise's fortunes around.

"It just feels good to win a game, it's hard to win a game. Then when you talk about playoffs, to be in it two out of three years, what a blessing," said McDermott.

"It's all the people behind me in the locker room, all the people back home, all of our fans. I'm humbled by it, and yet we're hungry to continue to grow and get better.

"I'm grateful to be a part of it, part of the group of guys and girls that are behind me in the locker room – they work extremely hard.

"When I came to Buffalo a lot of people said, 'Why are you going there? You're never gonna get it turned around.' We got it turned around. And with a lot of work yet to do."

The San Francisco 49ers suffered a shock loss in the NFL on Sunday, while the Buffalo Bills clinched a playoff spot.

The 49ers (11-3) were beaten for the second time in three games after going down to the Atlanta Falcons.

Meanwhile, the Bills are heading to the playoffs for just the second time since 2000 after overcoming the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Dallas Cowboys claimed a key win and the Oakland Raiders were beaten by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

 

49ERS STUNNED BY FALCONS

Julio Jones' touchdown with just seconds remaining helped the Falcons get past the 49ers 29-22.

Matt Ryan's five-yard pass to Jones – who had 134 receiving yards – with two seconds remaining, and Olamide Zaccheaus' fumble return as time expired, saw Atlanta (5-9) to their shock win.

Ryan went 25 of 39 for 210 yards and two TDs, while 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo finished with 200 yards after completing 22 of 34 passes.

George Kittle had 134 receiving yards for the 49ers, but his team fell short.

The 49ers are assured of a playoff place, but sit behind the Seattle Seahawks (11-3) in the NFC West. The teams will meet on December 29.

 

BILLS BOOK PLAYOFF SPOT

The Bills rallied past the Steelers 17-10 to clinch a playoff place.

After Stephen Hauschka's 36-yard field goal brought Buffalo level in the fourth quarter, Josh Allen's 14-yard pass to Tyler Kroft secured the win.

Devin Singletary rushed for 87 yards on 21 carries for the Bills, while John Brown had 99 receiving yards.

The Bills (10-4) are second to the New England Patriots (11-3) in the AFC East, while the Steelers (8-6) are in a wildcard place.

 

COWBOYS SNAP LOSING STREAK

The Cowboys ended a three-game losing streak with a 44-21 victory over the Rams.

Ezekiel Elliott scored two touchdowns, rushing for 117 yards on 24 carries in the impressive win.

The Rams managed just 22 rushing yards as QB Jared Goff went 33 of 51 for 284 yards, two TDs and an interception.

Dallas top a tight NFC East with a 7-7 record ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles (7-7) and they meet next week.

 

RAIDERS' COLISEUM FAREWELL ENDS IN LOSS

In their final scheduled game at the Oakland Coliseum, the Raiders went down to the Jaguars 20-16.

Oakland (6-8) are set to miss the playoffs after the defeat as they conceded 14 fourth-quarter points to Jacksonville (5-9).

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings improved to 10-4 by crushing the Los Angeles Chargers 39-10 and the Cleveland Browns' playoff hopes were hit after a 38-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, who had Kenyan Drake score four TDs.

WEEK 15 SCORES

Seattle Seahawks 30-24 Carolina Panthers
New England Patriots 34-13 Cincinnati Bengals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-17 Detroit Lions
Green Bay Packers 21-13 Chicago Bears
Kansas City Chiefs 23-3 Denver Broncos
New York Giants 36-20 Miami Dolphins
Houston Texans 24-21 Tennessee Titans
Philadelphia Eagles 37-27 Washington Redskins
Arizona Cardinals 38-24 Cleveland Browns
Minnesota Vikings 39-10 Los Angeles Chargers
Jacksonville Jaguars 20-16 Oakland Raiders
Dallas Cowboys 44-21 Los Angeles Rams
Atlanta Falcons 29-22 San Francisco 49ers
Buffalo Bills 17-10 Pittsburgh Steelers

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick revelled in the team clinching a playoff berth for the 11th straight NFL season.

Super Bowl champions the Patriots (11-3) accounted for the lowly Cincinnati Bengals 34-13 on Sunday.

New England's postseason run – already a league record – is the longest current streak in the NFL as the Patriots look to clinch their 11th consecutive AFC East championship.

It is the 21st time in Robert Kraft's 26 years of ownership that the Patriots have punched their ticket to the postseason.

Patriots star Brady, who completed 15 of 29 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns, told reporters: "Yeah, it was good. This team has been working hard, and trying to put ourselves into good positions.

"Good to win – we're 6-2 on the road this year. Last year we were 3-5. It was good. The defense played great – got five turnovers."

During the Patriots' playoff streak, the franchise have won three Super Bowls after five trips to the league's showpiece event.

Belichick – a six-time Super Bowl-winning coach with the Patriots – also set an NFL mark for a coach with an 11th straight trip to the playoffs.

"You play to keep playing. You win four, five, six games ... you don't really get anything for doing that. When you can win enough to play in the postseason, that is one of our goals. It's a good thing," he said.

"I mean, we can continue our season. You take things one game at time and continue to get better. We'll continue to improve. We try to play good football in all three phases of the game."

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning does not know what the future holds following a "special" win over the Miami Dolphins.

Veteran Manning, 38, threw a pair of touchdown passes as the Giants beat the Dolphins 36-20 in NFL action at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

In potentially his final home start for the Giants, Manning received a standing ovation after exiting the game with less than two minutes remaining – New York going on to snap a nine-match losing streak.

"Obviously, I don't know what the future is. I don't know what lies next week, let alone down the road," said Manning, who was replaced as starter by rookie Daniel Jones from Week 3.

"Obviously, the support and the fans, their ovation, chanting my name from the first snap to the end, I appreciate that. I appreciate them always and all my team-mates coming up to me. It's a special day, a special win and one I'll remember."

A two-time Super Bowl winner and MVP, Manning had his family in attendance and he added: "It's special. I think it's special that my kids get to come and watch some games.

"I don't remember my dad playing at all. He retired when I was four years old. My brothers have memories. They always kind of talked about it, in the locker room, around games and I don't remember.

"So, I try to bring my kids around as much as possible, bring them to some games. I know my youngest son won't remember any of it, but we'll at least have a picture to show him one day."

"I tried not to get too emotional just because we still have a couple football games left," Manning continued. "I know I'll still be back in the stadium. I don't know if I'll play that day, but I know I'll get to run out one more time at least.

"But still excited. Excited for the win and an honour if it is the last one playing here where I'm starting and getting a win. Try to enjoy it and take it in for a moment."

It is advantage the Houston Texans in the AFC South after they held on for a 24-21 win over the Tennessee Titans, while the New England Patriots sealed a playoff spot with victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. 

The Texans and the Titans were locked at 8-5 before doing battle in Week 15 on Sunday, but Houston now have the edge with two rounds of the regular season remaining.

New England responded to back-to-back defeats with a 34-13 success over the Bengals, while the Seattle Seahawks stood on the brink of joining the reigning Super Bowl champions in the postseason following a 30-24 win over the Carolina Panthers.

NFC North leaders the Green Bay Packers were also poised to seal a playoff spot after Aaron Jones scored two touchdowns in a 21-13 defeat of the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field.

Travis Kelce became the first tight end in NFL history to record 1,000 receiving yards in four consecutive seasons as the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Denver Broncos 23-3 in the snow.

Eli Manning guided the New York Giants past the Miami Dolphins, throwing 20-of-28 for 283 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.

Meanwhile, it was a mixed day for Adrian Peterson, another veteran, who tied Walter Payton for the fourth-most rushing touchdowns (110) in NFL history as the Washington Redskins' loss at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles.


TEXANS HALT TITANS RUN IN BLOCKBUSTER SHOWDOWN

Tennessee had won four in a row to join the Texans at the summit of the AFC South, but they were beaten in their own backyard in a titanic battle.

Deshaun Watson threw two touchdown passes for Kenny Stills in the second quarter to give Houston a 14-0 halftime advantage.

But Ryan Tannehill went in for a touchdown on a fourth-and-goal play in the third quarter and then picked out AJ Brown for another to level it up.

Ka'imi Fairbairn's 29-yard field goal with just over three minutes to go ultimately proved the difference after a TD from Carlos Hyde, with the response from Dion Lewis not enough.
 

NORMAL SERVICE RESUMED AS BELICHICK BREAKS ANOTHER RECORD

The Patriots were reeling from defeats to the Texans and the Chiefs, but normal service was resumed as they marched into the playoffs yet again.

Head coach Bill Belichick can add another unprecedented achievement to his list, with his record of masterminding 11 consecutive postseason spots taking him beyond a tally he shared with Tony Dungy.

Tom Brady threw for a season-low 128 yards but laid on two scores in an emphatic victory against the 1-13 Bengals, with the Patriots now 11-3.
 

PACKERS SWEEP BEARS

The Packers beat the Bears again in the 200th meeting between the old rivals. 

Green Bay started the season by defeating Chicago, and they pulled off a repeat to go 11-3 at the top of the NFC North.

Two rushing TDs from Jones in the third quarter left the Bears with a mountain to climb and, although they fought all the way, with Anthony Miller scoring in the final quarter, Chicago fell short and are now 7-7.
 

Week 15 scores:

New England Patriots 34-13 Cincinnati Bengals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-17 Detroit Lions
Houston Texans 24-21 Tennessee Titans
Denver Broncos 3-23 Kansas City Chiefs
Miami Dolphins 20-36 New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles 37-27 Washington Redskins
Seattle Seahawks 30-24 Carolina Panthers
Chicago Bears 13-21 Green Bay Packers

Travis Kelce made NFL history in Week 15 as he reached 1,000 receiving yards for the fourth straight season.

The Kansas City Chiefs tight end made it to the milestone thanks to an 11-yard pass from quarterback Patrick Mahomes during the first half of Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos.

A third-round pick by the Chiefs in 2013, Kelce is the first player at his position to achieve four successive 1,000-yard campaigns.

However, moving the ball was not easy for either Kansas City or Denver at Arrowhead Stadium, with the divisional battle played out in the snow.

Yet rather than worry about the cold, the home players embraced the freezing conditions during warm-ups, with a video released on Twitter showing them engaging in a pre-game snowball fight.

Kansas City have certainly been hot this season; they went into the game having already clinched the AFC West.

 

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