49ers @ Panthers live blog

This is the live blog for the 49ers’ Week 2 road game against the Carolina Panthers. I’ll update this frequently with information and analysis from my living room.

8:33 Here are the 49ers’ inactives:

  • OT Anthony Davis
  • QB Christian Ponder
  • CB Marcus Cromartie
  • RB DuJuan Harris
  • DT Tony Jerod-Eddie
  • OT John Theus
  • DT Taylor Hart

That means both Andrew Tiller and Joshua Garnett are active. No word yet on which will start.

8:49 Look for the Panthers to move the pocket. Cam Newton got hit 17 times in Week 1.

8:50 Here are the Panthers’ inactives:

  • QB Joe Webb
  • WR Damiere Byrd
  • CB Teddy  Williams
  • RB Cameron Artis-Payne
  • LB Jared Norris
  • OL Tyler Larsen
  • DT  Paul Soliai

9:34 Anthony Davis is out with a concussion he reportedly suffered during practice on Thursday. I don’t buy that report, though. There’s no contact during practice. Players don’t even wear helmets.

9:56 Expect Newton to throw between six and eight passes that travel at least 20 yards downfield.

10:03 Niners win the toss and defer.

10:05 Antoine Bethea intercepts a tipped pass from Newton.

10:08 Andrew Tiller is starting at right guard.

10:09 Kawann Short blows past Daniel Kilgore on second-and-goal from the five and tackles Shaun Draughn for a five-yard loss. Blaine Gabbert throws the ball away on third down. Phil Dawson makes a 29-yard field goal and the score is 3-0 Niners. Gabbert attempted only one pass during that drive. Carlos Hyde ran four times for 16 yards.

10:19 Newton’s first long pass is a 42-yard touchdown pass to Ted Ginn Jr. on third-and-10. Tramaine Brock was in coverage.

10:22 Ginn’s second foot landed out of bounds. Call overturned. First-and-10 at the Niners’ 37.

10:26 Newton overthrows a wide open Greg Olsen for a potential touchdown on third-and-22. NaVorro Bowman was in coverage. Jeremy Kerley makes a fair catch at the Niners’ 11.

10:30 Charles Johnson strips Carlos Hyde on second-and-7. Shaq Thompson recovers and runs it into the end zone. Touchdown Carolina. 7-3 Panthers.

10:32 Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart injured his hamstring and is questionable to return.

10:34 Quinton Patton returns the kickoff only 11 yards to the 49ers’ 14. Once again they start behind their 15-yard line.

10:41 Gabbert throws behind a wide open Garrett Celek on second-and-10 from the Panthers’ 41. Two plays later he overthrows Aaron Burbridge on third-and-13 and the Niners punt. Ginn makes a fair catch at the Carolina 16.

10:42 Gabbert made a nice 20-yard pass to Torrey Smith early in that drive. He needs to make those long throws more consistently.

10:44 Mike Tolbert gains four yards up the middle on first down just before the end of the first quarter.

10:50 Ray Ray Armstrong strips Fozzy Whitaker and recovers the ball. The Panthers are challenging.

10:52 Refs confirm their ruling. Niners’ ball.

10:57 Torrey Smith beats James Bradberry for a 28-yard touchdown on second-and-9. Great play. Smart to take advantage of the rookie corner near the red zone. 10-7 Niners.

11:01 First play of the drive, Newton throws a 78-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Greg Olsen. Antoine Bethea got torched. 14-10 Panthers. Will be interesting to see if the Niners’ young defense loses confidence after this one-and-out drive.

11:07 Gabbert throws a grounder to an open Jeremy Kerley on third-and-8 and the Niners go three-and-out in a minute and 13 seconds. Let’s see how the defense responds.

11:16 Devin Funchess catches the ball out of bounds on third-and-7 and the Panthers punt. Kerley makes a fair catch at the Niners’ 12.

11:25 Gabbert misses an open Rod Streater wide left on third-and-10, and the Niners punt. Panthers start from their 18 with 1:48 left in the half.

11:32 A holding penalty on the Panthers shuts down their drive. Andy Lee’s punt pins the Niners’ at their 2-yard line.

11:35 Niners’ go three-and-out after three-straight Draughn runs.

11:36 Panthers’ ball at their 46 with 42 seconds left in the half.

11:37 Newton completes a 17-yard pass to Kelvin Benjamin over the middle.  Rashard Robinson hits him and injures himself. He walks off the field with a trainer.

11:39 Next play, Newton runs a draw and gains 16 yards.

11:40 Keith Reaser drops an interception in the end zone on second-and-10.

11:41 The Panthers make a 39-yard field goal as the half ends. 17-10 Carolina.

11:42 The Niners offense averaged a measly 4.7 yards per play, and the Niners defense gave up a gargantuan 7.1 yards per play in the first half — both awful averages. The Niners are in this game because the offense scored 10 points off the two turnovers the defense  created.

11:44 Niners have 53 rushing yards on 21 attempts. Panthers have 110 rushing yards on 17 carries.

11:52 Offensive line played well in the first half even though the Niners couldn’t run the ball. The Panther are stacking the box. Gabbert has to back them up with long passes down the field. The offensive line is giving him all day to throw.

12:00 Gabbert throws a swing pass to Hyde for a one-yard loss on third-and-eight and the Niners go three-and-out. Terrible play. Terrible series.

12:11 Benjamin beats Ward for a 25-yard catch on third-and-7. Two plays later, Benjamin beats Ward for a 10-yard touchdown catch on second-and-9. 24-10 Carolina.

12:13 Keith Reaser extended that drive with an illegal contact penalty on third-and-5.

12:14 The 49ers’ defense has gotten zero pressure on Newton today.

12:15 Ward gave up three catches for 51 yards and a touchdown to Benjamin on that drive.

12:19 Hyde gains two yards on first down, Gabbert misses two more throws and the Niners go three-and-out for the fifth time. They look like they’ve thrown in the towel.

12:23 First play of the Panthers’ drive, Ginn Jr. beats Brock deep down the sideline for a 52-yard catch. The officials are reviewing the play to see if Ginn Jr. maintained control of the ball.

12:25 Catch stands.

12:29 On second-and-goal from the 9, Benjamin beats Ward for a 9-yard touchdown catch on a quick slant route. That’s the second touchdown catch Ward has given up in the past 10 minutes. 31-10 Panthers.

12:38 Andrew Tiller is flagged for holding on third-and-5, and James Bradberry breaks up a pass intended for Torrey Smith on third-and-15. Panthers’ ball at their 9 after the punt.

12:42 Newton runs a draw on third-and-7 and gains 14 yards a couple of plays before the end of the fourth quarter.

12:46 Newton escapes pressure on third-and-2, but Gerald Hodges strips him and Eli Harold recovers.

12:49 Star Lotulelei beats Marcus Martin to sack Blaine Gabbert on third-and-8. Phil Dawson makes a 39-yard field goal on fourth-and-14. 31-13 Panthers.

12:52 Ginn Jr. lets the kickoff bounce off his ankle and the 49ers recover at the 2. That’s Carolina’s fourth turnover of the game.

12:54 Gabbert runs into the end zone from one yard out on first and goal. 31-20 Panthers.

12:58 Ginn Jr. returns the kickoff 59 yards to the 49ers’ 38.

1:06 Ahmad Brooks knocks down Newton’s pass on third-and-three from the 49ers’ 8.

1:07 Graham Gano makes a 31-yard field goal and the score is 34-20.

1:12 Gabbert throws a 20-yard pass to Vance McDonald who runs 55 yards untouched for a touchdown. 34-27 Panthers.

1:23 Gano makes a 49-yard field goal with 4:08 left. Panthers lead 37-27. Benjamin beat Chris Davis for a 27-yard catch on third-and-10 early in the drive. None of the 49ers’ defensive backs can cover him.

1:26 Gabbert stares down a pass to Jeremy Kerley and Luke Kuechly picks it off. Vance McDonald dropped a deep pass down the seam the previous play.

1:31 Devin Funchess beats Bethea for a 16-yard touchdown on third-and-4.  But the Niners block the extra point! It’s not over! Oh wait, yes it is. 43-27 Carolina with 3:31 left.

1:35 Gabbert gets picked by James Bradberry on fourth-and-10 and the Panthers have a chance to score 50.

1:43 Gano makes a 41-yard field goal. 46-27 Panthers. So far this season has been pretty much the same as last season.

1:45 Gabbert pads his stats with three short completions at the end of regulation and the Niners lose by 19. Stay tuned for grades.

  1. Looking forward to seeing Chris Harris today.
    I think this game comes down to how well the 49ers handle the physicality of the Panthers early. A couple key stops early and handling the blitz will give the Niners a chance to keep it close.
    I’m sticking with a late Dawson
    FG
    49ers:17
    Panthers:16

  2. It should be interesting to see who and how O’Neill spies Newton. After reading O’Neill’s effusive praise of Eric Reed and his all-world abilities I will be focused on him during the game.

  3. Hot and humid in Carolina today. The 49ers tempo offense will either be helped or hurt by this. Anyone have the skinny on tempo in hot conditions?

  4. This morning we’ll get our first look at how Chip Kelly’s unorthodoxed, sports science approach, effects the 49ers on road trips. This year the 49ers have begun all of their practices in the 10 a.m. hour, which Kelly said takes better of advantage of an athlete’s circadian rhythm – the regular changes they experience in a 24-hour cycle.

    Under Kelly, the 49ers begin practice on Tuesday, an off-day for players in the rest of the NFL. The 49ers get Monday off. The team’s most vigorous session of the week is on Thursday followed by a light practice Friday. Then on Saturday the 49ers have another full-speed session that lasts just short of an hour. There’s no hitting, or course. The goal is for players to work up a sweat and to start ramping up for the next day’s contest.

    It’s a tough hill to climb!

    1. Agreed Tuna!

      Question: Hindsight is 20/20, and we now know this guy doesn’t really want to play football. However, given Davis’s pedigree, would you have taken a chance on him this season, given the weak play we got out of the right side of our OL last season?

      1. 49
        Yes. The perceived need was so great. Trent Brown made better strides in improvement than could have been fully anticipated. AD showed he could still play, but now appears to be sandbagging, which hurts his trade value and his hopes for a ride out of town. I think he wants to play, but not here.
        So, I would have made Baalke’s mistake.
        Now? Well, I’m a homer fan not a GM, so I liked C4C’s somewhat punitive suggestion to trade him to Cleveland for a 7th.

  5. Listened to Fantasy Focus on ESPN this am. Only Niner mentioned was Hyde. No respect. I think we are going to surprise the NFL this year.

  6. The niners are a good team this year- they have a chance for the playoffs due to this defense. Chip Kelly needs to pull the trigger and get kaepernick out there. Gabbert is too scared- he isnt being enough of a option threat because of his refusal to run.

    Kaep also brings more of a vertical pass game. Hope Kelly pulls the trigger while the niners still have a chance of winning this game

  7. Just like i said, Blaine will be the difference. Hes not a starting qb. Hes a serviceable back up, starting in the league. His downfield rate is horrible. Oh well. Lets go D

  8. Gabbert has to make those throws… Defense can just sit down underneath until he proves he can hit a receiver more than 15-20 yards downfield. So frustrating… The plays are there :/

  9. ATT DirecTV is the WORST! I’m in Dallas, paid for Sunday Ticket and the 49er game is not showing, because it says it’s blacked out. But it’s not one of the local games showing on the network channels. The sports bars don’t have it either!

    The help number gives me no way to talk to an agent and hangs up on me repeatedly! This after ripping me off, charging me way more than I agreed to.

  10. Everyone knows that Kaepernick is going to be the starting qb for the niners eventually. The question is whether chip kelly makes the call today, so the niners can beat the Panthers. Kelly owes it to this defense

      1. If you think Kaep is a backup- you are clueless- the guy is better than at least 10 other QBs in the league. Your feels are getting in the way of being objective.

        1. So says the entire 49ers coaching staff! He lost the starting job for whatever reason you want. Bottom line, he’s the back up until future notice!

        1. Thanks for the laugh… One-read Kaep is done. If he replaces Blaine it’s only out of desperation…. Niners need to identify their long-term solution there which will likely be post-Baalke.

              1. Kap has a completion rate of over 60% lifetime. Kap can throw the long ball- Kap can run the option. Kap fails at throwing the short passes and screens.

                Let’s remember what made kap weak–

  11. Grant… “he needs to make those throws more consistently”. Will never happen. I have no idea what the guy from espn saw from this guy to make him think he was the best qb in the 2011 draft. Not mel kiper, the other one.

  12. Also- any media person who has tried to blame Baalke or argue he should be let go should be mocked and ribbed. Baalke can draft defenses PERIOD. Baalke may not be able to draft QBs or WRs but with a good defense, the niners will always be in the conversation.**

    **as long as they don’t depend on a career position coach as the head coach.

      1. You don’t like it that the offense can drive the field against a good D? Against a team our host say we lose to by 30? Way to be a “fan”

        1. I have been on this board longer than 10 years- i am a fan.

          Kaepernick gives the niners a better chance at winning. The niners are playing with one arm tied behind their back with Gabbert playing.

            1. I was here- last year was a product of a HORRIBLE decision on a head coach. Chip kelly is a better head coach than Harbaugh- our Defensive coordinator is quality.

              The niners have a solid offensive line again. When Kap has protection he is a stud. the niners could give him all the time in the world this year to pass. I dont know how this can be argued against when Gabbert has no one around him, has an open receiver deep and overthrows the guy with a pass 10 feet above the wr’s head.

              Gabbert isnt going to last long playing like that.

              1. I don’t know what game you are watching, but the one I am our QB has a 40 point rating edge over the f-ing NFL MVP.

  13. “Carolina is who we thought they were…” I’ll move over for the rest of you naysayers to get on board. This team hasn’t won the game yet, but they are not the team that many predicted.

  14. If gabbert could just connect on half his overthrown balls to open receivers- the niners would be comfortably in the lead right now

      1. Gin Jr. with his horrible footwork, yea very unlikely- just like its unlikely for Gabbert to throw to an open receiver downfield.

        Dont mind me, I am just letting my imagination run wild today.

      1. I wanted to see gabbert play this year and given a chance- but the guy plays scared. I have seen enough this game to say Kaepernick is a better QB. Since your comment we have had two three and outs- how many more do we need to see Kap?

          1. this line is very good. Chip kelly is a top offensive guy. I think if Kaep gets in there- he will go back to being the middling to slightly above average NFL quarterback he was with Harbaugh.

            With this defense- that will be enough to be a playoff team.

            1. That is how I felt until I saw Kap play in the preseason. He looked like last years Kap. You know, the Kap that lost his job to Gabbert.

  15. Last 2 offensive series just cost us this game. Gave them 3 points without trying right before half and 1 possession of 2nd half terrible call on 3rd down,my grandmother who is blind saw that the ball was going to Hyde before the snap.

  16. Well, most knew we didn’t have much of a shot in this one… Still disappointing to see lack of halftime adjustments though two games in a row.

  17. The lack of pass rush is what I feared most about the Niners this season. O’Neill is trying various blitzing but it opens up the field for Cam who has really improved his play in the pocket.

  18. At some point in the first half of the season, I predict Kaep will be diagnosed with impact patellar tendinitis and placed on IR or PUP listed. Because of the injury, Kaep will be rehab’ed and seen wandering the sideline in sweats with a bubble wrapped knee discretely handing out his business cards.

  19. Are we watching the same game as the announcers the ball was moving the whole time and didn’t maintain possession going out of bounds

    1. Nobody can cover Benjamin one on one. I was worried about Benjamin in the red zone a couple of days ago for that reason. Good hands and tall.

  20. Although this game was lost the minute the NFL made the schedule, I am still disappointed in Gabbert. I’ve seen very few NFL QB’s short arm passes as often as Blaine. That simply will not do. Carolina is daring the 49ers to throw, and Blaine is playing like a girl. SAD!

    No reason to worry about anything except developing this defense, and OL, until SF finds a QB who doesn’t short arm every other pass!

    Oh, and we need a Kelvin Benjamin!

      1. Cam has dropped some absolute DIME’S. But the difference is the Panthers are scheming to stop the run because they have no fear for Gabbert, or receivers.

        By the way…..where the hell is McDonald in this offense?

  21. we just dont have enough quality players.until we can draft better this dumpster fire will continue.our drafting has been horrible and until he who wont be named is gone this will continue

    1. Who is a draft bust K? What I am seeing is an exciting defense that has a potentially dominant front line.

      I am see a drafted offensive line that may be one of the best we have had in years. I see a running back that could be a stud if not for concussion issues that Baalke could not have forseen.

      Let’s quit with the GM bashing- he is one of the good decisions this franchise has made.

      1. ime not talking draft busts just drafting medicore players who end up just being average at best. i wont even mention wide receivers.our two best on this were not even drafted.i dont want home runs but some doubles and maybe a triple now and then would be nice

  22. This is about how I saw the game going. I was hoping we would do a bit better on offense but I was pretty certain our D would come down to earth. :(

  23. Can somebody explain this offensive gameplan to me? I know it’s hot and humid, but WTF, my local high school team could stop this offense!

  24. Time for Krapernick
    Said last week even after the win that Gabbert was horrible and this week is worse. Still have some pieces to make the season fun but not with Gabbert.

    1. Nobody likes the 49ers anymore we aren’t going to get those calls unless if we take our helmet off. Wasn’t it last year when one our helmets fell off and we got penalized for taking it off.

        1. Thank you, my friend! I anticipated it happening earlier though, and like Hammer so eloquently pointed out, I said they’d only put up 6. If I were you, I’d temper my excitement over my visionary skills….

  25. Blaine off target, but VM should’ve caught his second 75-yard TD in 2 plays there. That’s on both. Next play, Gabbert kills team’s final gasp.

      1. They should be brutal. And deservedly so. But this was a “better” loss than last year at Pittsburgh. That game was over on the first drive.

  26. Bottom line- Kaepernick could have given the niners a real chance of winning this game. Hopefully Kelly decides to make the change this week.

  27. All elements of the team needs work.
    Run game and pass game were weak.
    No pass rush and inconsistent play in the secondary. Poor tackling.
    I still think the team is better than last year. The have scored more points in both games this year than all games last year.
    I feel like they have a chance against Seattle, unlike last year.

  28. Well, there’s the reality check.

    Not really many positives to come out of this game. The 27 points scored were something of a mirage. The Panthers really dominated this game after the first quarter.

    Summing it up:
    – The QB play was poor. Once again too many passes off target, which left a lot of yards on the field.
    – No running game. The same issue as last week, no holes being opened up by the OL. This time round the RBs weren’t able to create something out of nothing.
    – Also a few more drops this week. McDonald’s drop was ugly at a bad time.
    – Couldn’t stop the run this week. Too many missed tackles, but more importantly, lost the battle up front.
    – Also hardly any pressure on Newton all game.
    – All topped off with a few busted coverages, but more concerning was the DBs getting beat 1 on 1. Some of which the DBs played the coverage ok, but just couldn’t stop the pass being completed – lost at the catch point.

    All in all, a similar start to the season as last year. Need to improve in all areas next week.

    1. I think the only thing that made this loss a little bit better than week 2 last year was the team wasn’t blown away before half time. But there were signs in the 2nd quarter it could get ugly and the start of the 3rd quarter was really poor by the 49ers.

  29. A more mature Carolina team would have won this game 60-10. It was nice to see the scrappiness by the Niners but that was only on display because of Carolina’s sloppiness and lack of respect for them. That lack of discipline is why they aren’t champions.

  30. I’m sure people will be calling for Kap to start next week. But I wouldn’t start him against his arch rival. Short passes ala Alex Smith is the way to beat Seattle. Plus, Does anyone know if Kap has gained his weight back?

    1. The only difference between the two is that Kaepernick will lose the game in the first half, whereas Gabbert will lose the game in the second half. Gabbert knows he’s not the hero. I think Kaepernick thinks he’d be the hero. I’ve seen enough one read heroics myself, but I do think that Kaep will see the field at some point.

        1. Well his 3 and outs defentley contributed to killing the Defense who had to play in the heat. If your going to be the QB in this system you have to run a little more on the read option… Defenses are keying in on Hyde..Gabbert should start next week… He better find a way to win next week or he will get replaced sooner rather then latter…

          1. The defense was tired on the first possession after halftime? Come on.

            Gabbert didn’t play good today, but the defense struggled all day. They caught some breaks with Carolina penalties that created – and 20 yard to go situations.

            1. The Panthers linebackers were doing a good job of being disciplined to their assignment which is why Gabbert kept giving it.

              1. Your wrong re watch the tape… They dared Gabbert to keep it.. Hence the TD Gabbert had by keeping it… He needs to play much better to keep the job.. He skipped passes all day.. Left plays all over the field…

        2. Did you realize that Gabbert benefited from the four turnovers the defense caused? Carolina was incredibly sloppy but the offense still benefited from the turnovers, scoring off of all four. The defense didn’t throw two fourth quarter picks, which is the definition of choking.

          1. Of course. Where did I say he played good today?

            They were already down 2 scores when he threw the picks. That’s not choking in my book. If they were ahead or tied I’d agree.

  31. These are not the Rams. As a matter of fact, the Niners looked like the Rams today. Poor coaching, poor game planning, poor execution, awful QB play….

    1. So who are those Rams that have the lead on Seattle at the half? Seattle might be the worst team in the division. We have a pretty good chance next week.

  32. All you can hope for is that a team gets better. This 49ers team in their 2nd game is far better than last years team in their 2nd game. Baby steps people, baby steps.

  33. If the Niners continue to struggle with the running game it will be a long season. They were trailing most of the game against a good defense so I’m not giving up on them yet.

  34. One of the problem with the running game is a lack of a vertical attack to loosen up the defense. I think the Niners have to try throw the ball down the field 2-5 times in the first 15 or so plays.

  35. We’ve needed a real #1 CB forever….last time was Deion??? I could be wrong but it’s been too long. Brock is NOT a #1 but would be a stud Robin to Batman. Get that #1 corner & all the CB depth would all be in the right spots

    Same with our receiving core but I don’t see a solid #2 (like Crabtree is to Cooper in OAK…sorry but that’s what immediately popped in my mind). Kerley seems like a good fit for Chips O at the slot. I like that we have a legit deep threat to stretch the field in Smith but a true #1 wideout with speed should take care of both (Smith seems mostly like a deep threat only not able to excel in all the routes & make catches all over the field)

    Gabbert so limited. Kapernicks strength is Gabberts weakness & vice versa. WE NEED A QB!!!!! These 2 are NOT the answer although I’d like to see what Kap can do under Chips tutelage. But I just don’t think he’ll ever “get” seeing the entire field, work the pocket to buy time, & know + go through all his progressions consistently play after play as part of being a foundation into being a real NFL QB

    The obvious today: NO PASS RUSH

    Also I’m not sold on our Safeties. Bethea (age) only good for this season. Reid is OK / solid but we need a faster better cover FS WITH RANGE & MORE PLAYMAKING

    Team looked good & hung in there the first half

  36. Grant, your personal vendetta against Gabbert is ugly and has made your commentary increasingly unreadable. You have been given a tremendous gift (the chance to cover an NFL team without putting in the many years of hard work that it normally takes) and you are throwing it away through your petulance. I’m outta here.

      1. And it may be your last if you’re so petulant and full of vendettas. Come on Grant get it together!

        Do you get to go up to Seattle next weekend?

      2. You didn’t earn the gig on the basis of sportswriting experience and demonstrated ability. You got the job because of who your father is. As far as I can tell, you haven’t improved a bit in those six seasons, but your bitterness level seems to have increased quite a bit. That’s too bad because you have a job that most writers would do nearly anything to get. You should be thanking your lucky stars every single day by working your butt off to become a better reporter.

        1. I worked for CSN Bay Area before I started working for the PD. I also have written for Yahoo, Bleacher Report and Sports Illustrated.

          1. The latter three have come after you acquired the beat writer tag, right? Otherwise, you wouldn’t have gotten your foot in those doors in a million years. The CSN Bay Area stuff was also because of your father (they figured they could get some increased readership from the Cohn name and the association with your father, who was a legitimately brilliant sportswriter), as is your current nepotistic position. Is that why you are so resentful and vindictive towards those who, like Gabbert, have had to scratch and claw their way through great adversity?

            1. The person who hired me at CSN was not a fan of my father and hired me in spite of him.

              I’m sorry I gave your favorite quarterback a bad grade.

            2. Back off. Grant is refreshing and insightful. He is light years better than most most of the other media types covering the team. I like how Grant writes. I appreciate good writing. Your nepotism screed does not gain traction, because he would not get praise if he could not turn a phrase.

              FYI, Grant said that Kaep should be cut, so he is just calling it like it is and is not playing favorites. Resentful and vindictive? Hardly. Gabbert deserves even more scrutiny. By throwing those 2 picks in the 4th quarter, Gabbert may have thrown away his starting job.

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