Passer rating (also known as quarterback rating, QB rating, or passing efficiency in college football) is a measure of the performance of passers, primarily quarterbacks, in American football and Canadian football. There are two formulae currently in use: one used by both the National Football League (NFL) and Canadian Football League (CFL), and the other used in NCAA football. Passer rating is calculated using a player's passing attempts, completions, yards, touchdowns, and interceptions. Since 1973, passer rating has been the official formula used by the NFL to determine its passing leader. Passer rating in the NFL is on a scale from 0 to 158.3. Passing efficiency in college football is on a scale from −731.6 to 1261.6.
Before the development of the passer rating, the NFL struggled with how to crown a passing leader. In the mid-1930s, it was the quarterback with the most passing yardage. From 1938 to 1940, it was the quarterback with the highest completion percentage. In 1941, a system was created that ranked the league's quarterbacks relative to their peers' performance. Over the next thirty years the criteria used to crown a passing leader changed several times, but the ranking system made it impossible to determine a quarterback's rank until all the other quarterbacks were done playing that week, or to compare quarterback performances across multiple seasons. In 1971, NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle asked the league's statistical committee to develop a better system. The committee was headed by Don Smith of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Seymour Siwoff of the Elias Sports Bureau, and NFL executive Don Weiss. Smith and Siwoff established passing performance standards based on data from all qualified pro football passers between 1960 and 1970, and used those data to create the passer rating. The formula was adopted by the NFL in 1973.
The NFL passer rating formula includes four variables: completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdowns per attempt, and interceptions per attempt. Each of those variables is scaled to a value between 0 and 2.375, with 1.0 being statistically average (based on league data between 1960–1970). When the formula was first created, a 66.7 rating indicated an average performance, and a 100+ rating indicated an excellent performance. However, passing performance has improved steadily since then and in 2017 the league average rating was 88.6.
The four separate calculations can be expressed in the following equations:
If the result of any calculation is greater than 2.375, it is set to 2.375. If the result is a negative number, it is set to zero.
Then, the above calculations are used to complete the passer rating:
|A perfect passer rating (158.3) requires at least:||A minimum rating (0.0) requires at best:|
77.5% completion percentage
30.0% completion percentage
The NCAA passer rating has an upper limit of 1,261.6 (every attempt is a 99-yard completion for touchdown), and a lower limit of −731.6 (every attempt is completed, but results in a 99-yard loss). A passer who throws only interceptions will have a −200 rating, as would a passer who only throws completed passes losing an average of 35.714 yards.
In 2011, Sports Illustrated published an article by Kerry Byrne of Cold Hard Football Facts highlighting the importance of passer rating in determining a team's success. "Put most simply," the article states, "you cannot be a smart football analyst and dismiss passer rating. In fact, it's impossible to look at the incredible correlation of victory to passer rating and then dismiss it. You might as well dismiss the score of a game when determining a winner. [...] Few, if any, are more indicative of wins and losses than passer rating. Teams that posted a higher passer rating went 203–53 (.793) in 2010 and an incredible 151–29 (.839) after Week 5." Byrne made an expanded defense of the passer rating and its importance for the Pro Football Researchers Association in 2012. The study noted that of the eight teams since 1940 to lead the league in both offensive passer rating and defensive passer rating, all won championships.
Wide receiver Antwaan Randle El, with a passer rating of 157.5 from 21 completed passes of a possible 26, has the highest career rating of any non-QB with more than twenty attempts. Ben Roethlisberger holds the record for the most games with a perfect passer rating (4). As of 2012, 61 NFL quarterbacks have completed a game with a perfect passer rating of 158.3, and seven have done so multiple times. Phil Simms holds the record for the highest passer rating in a Super Bowl, at 150.92 in Super Bowl XXI.
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The 1966 Green Bay Packers season was their 48th season overall and their 46th in the National Football League. The defending NFL champions had a league-best regular season record of 12–2, led by eighth-year head coach Vince Lombardi and quarterback Bart Starr, in his eleventh NFL season.
The Packers beat the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL championship game, the Packers' second consecutive NFL title, fourth under Lombardi, and tenth for the franchise. Two weeks later, the Packers recorded a 35–10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the inaugural AFL-NFL Championship Game, retroactively known as Super Bowl I.
Quarterback Starr was named the league's most valuable player (MVP) in 1966. Said Cold Hard Football Facts about Starr's 1966 season, "Starr, always underappreciated, was at his classic assassin-like best in 1966, his lone MVP season. He led the league in completion percentage, yards per attempt and passer rating, while his 4.7-to-1 [touchdown-to-interception] ratio remains one of the very best in history. Starr, as always, cranked out great performances when he absolutely had to: the 1966 Packers, for example, were the worst rushing team in football, with a meager average of 3.5 [yards-per-attempt] on the ground, despite the reputation Lombardi's Packers still carry with them today as a dominant running team." Cold Hard Football Facts also notes that 1966 Packers had the best passer rating differential (offensive passer rating minus opponents passer rating), +56.0, in the Super Bowl Era.
In 2007, the 1966 Packers were ranked as the 6th greatest Super Bowl champions on the NFL Network's documentary series America's Game: The Super Bowl Champions.Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Charles Rodgers (born December 2, 1983) is an American football quarterback for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL). Rodgers played college football for the California Golden Bears, where he set several career passing records, including lowest single-season and career interception rates. He was selected in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Packers.After backing up Brett Favre for the first three years of his NFL career, Rodgers became the Packers' starting quarterback in 2008. In 2010 he led them to a victory in Super Bowl XLV over the Pittsburgh Steelers, earning the Super Bowl MVP. He was named Associated Press Athlete of the Year in 2011, and was voted league MVP by the Associated Press for the 2011 and 2014 NFL seasons.
Rodgers has led the NFL three times in touchdown-to-interception ratio (2011, 2012, 2014); twice in passer rating (2011, 2012), touchdown passing percentage (2011, 2012), and lowest passing interception percentage (2009, 2014); and once in touchdown passes (2016) and yards per attempt (2011).
Rodgers is the NFL's all-time regular season career passer rating leader and is one of two quarterbacks to have a regular season career passer rating of over 100, the other being Russell Wilson. Rodgers is fifth all-time in postseason career passer rating, has the best touchdown-to-interception ratio in NFL history at 4.23, holds the league's lowest career interception percentage at 1.5 percent and the highest single-season passer rating record of 122.5. Due to the fact that Rodgers is the NFL's all-time regular season career passer rating leader, and his overall high level of play, Rodgers is considered by some sportscasters and players to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.Andy Dalton
Andrew Gregory Dalton (born October 29, 1987) is an American football quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Texas Christian University (TCU). In his final college game, Dalton led TCU to a win in the 2011 Rose Bowl. He is the TCU all-time leader in wins, as well as many passing statistics.Dalton was selected by the Bengals in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft and signed a four-year, $5.2 million contract. Under a West Coast-style offensive scheme, Dalton and All-Pro wide receiver A.J. Green have become a prolific quarterback/receiver combination. Dalton and Green broke NFL records for completions and yards for a rookie quarterback/receiver combination, even without the benefit of an offseason.Dalton is one of eight quarterbacks in NFL history to have thrown for over 3,000 yards in each of his first three seasons, alongside Cam Newton, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, Derek Carr, Ryan Tannehill, Jameis Winston, Dak Prescott, and Russell Wilson. He is also one of only six quarterbacks to have passed for at least 20 touchdowns in each of his first three seasons, joining Manning, Luck, Carr, Wilson, and Dan Marino. Dalton is the only quarterback to lead the Bengals to four consecutive playoff berths, and one of five quarterbacks to lead his team to the playoffs in each of his first four seasons. He is also the Bengals franchise record holder for passing yards and touchdowns in a season.
He has been nicknamed the "Red Rifle".Jay Cutler
Jay Christopher Cutler (born April 29, 1983) is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League for 12 seasons, primarily with the Chicago Bears. He played college football at Vanderbilt and was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft, for whom he played for three seasons. In 2009, he was traded to the Bears, where he played for eight seasons. After being released by Chicago in 2017, Cutler initially retired to become a sportscaster for NFL on Fox's television broadcasts, but returned for one more season with the Miami Dolphins when quarterback Ryan Tannehill suffered a season-ending injury. He retired a second time following the 2017 season.Joe Flacco
Joseph Vincent Flacco (born January 16, 1985) is an American football quarterback for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Delaware after transferring from Pittsburgh, and was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
Flacco was Baltimore's starting quarterback from 2008 until midway through the 2018 season, and helped the Ravens win the AFC North twice, appear in three AFC Championship Games, and defeat the San Francisco 49ers to win Super Bowl XLVII following the 2012 season. Flacco was named Super Bowl XLVII's MVP, concluding a postseason run in which he tied Joe Montana's single postseason record for touchdown passes (11) without an interception. That offseason, Flacco signed a six-year contract worth $120.6 million, a record high for a quarterback at the time. Flacco was traded to the Broncos following the 2018 season.
Despite rather pedestrian regular season statistics and no Pro Bowl berths as of the 2018 NFL season, Flacco has proven himself as a better performer in the postseason, having established a career playoff record of 10–5 and holding the record for most postseason road victories by a quarterback with 7. Flacco is also known for having one of the strongest arms in the NFL, which allows him to use an "aggressive, high-risk deep downfield passing game."Joe Montana
Joseph Clifford Montana Jr. (born June 11, 1956), nicknamed Joe Cool and The Comeback Kid, is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 16 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs. After winning a national championship at Notre Dame, Montana started his NFL career in 1979 with San Francisco, where he played for the next 14 seasons. While a member of the 49ers, Montana started and won four Super Bowls and was the first player ever to have been named Super Bowl Most Valuable Player three times. He also holds Super Bowl career records for most passes without an interception (122 in 4 games) and the all-time highest passer rating of 127.8. In 1993, Montana was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs where he played his final two seasons, and led the franchise to its first AFC Championship Game in January 1994. Montana was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000, his first year of eligibility.In 1989, and again in 1990, the Associated Press named Montana the NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP), and Sports Illustrated magazine named Montana the 1990 "Sportsman of the Year". Four years earlier, in 1986, Montana won the AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award. Montana was elected to eight Pro Bowls, as well as being voted 1st team All-Pro by the AP in 1987, 1989, and 1990. Montana had the highest passer rating in the National Football Conference (NFC) five times (1981, 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1989); and, in both 1987 and 1989, Montana had the highest passer rating in the NFL.Among his career highlights, "The Catch" (the game-winning touchdown pass vs. Dallas in the 1981 NFC Championship Game) and a Super Bowl-winning 92-yard drive against the Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII are staples of NFL highlight films.
The 49ers retired the number 16, the jersey number Montana wore while with the team. In 1994, Montana earned a spot on the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team; he is also a member of the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team. In 1999, editors at The Sporting News ranked Montana third on their list of Football's 100 Greatest Players. Also in 1999, ESPN named Montana the 25th greatest athlete of the 20th century. In 2006, Sports Illustrated rated him the number-one clutch quarterback of all time.Ken Anderson (quarterback)
Kenneth Allan Anderson (born February 15, 1949) is a former American football quarterback who spent his entire professional career playing for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL) and later returned as a position coach.
After playing college football for Augustana College, Anderson was selected in the 3rd round of the 1971 NFL Draft by the Cinicinnati Bengals. Over the course of his 16 season NFL career, Anderson led the league in passer rating four times, completion percentage three times and passing yards twice. In 1981, he was awarded AP NFL Most Valuable Player, a season in which he led the Bengals to their first Super Bowl appearance. In 1982, Anderson set an NFL record for completion percentage of 70.6%—a record he held for nearly 30 years until it was broken by Drew Brees in 2009.As of the end of the 2018 NFL season, Anderson owns many of the Cinicinnati Begnals franchise passing records, including completions, attempts, yards, touchdowns and interceptions.After his professional playing career, Anderson served as a radio broadcaster for the Cincinnati Bengals from 1987—1993. From 1993—2002 he served as the Bengals' quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. Anderson would later become the quarterbacks coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars (2003—2006) and Pittsburgh Steelers (2007—2009), before retiring from football in 2010.
Anderson has been a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame twice, and is often regarded as one of the best players not in the Hall of Fame.Kyle Rowley
Kyle Rowley (born January 30, 1979) is a arena football quarterback who is currently a free agent. He also played in the former af2. He played college football at Brown.
Rowley was the first quarterback to win an AFL ArenaBowl and af2 ArenaCup Championship, with Nick Davila being the second. His personal career accolades include 2006 ArenaCup Player of the Game, 2008 af2 Offensive Player of the Year, and 2010 ArenaBowl XXIII Championship MVP. During his career he broke the all-time AFL Record for touchdown passes in a game (12 TDs vs. San Jose in 2011), broke the all time record for touchdown passes in an AFL ArenaBowl (10 TDs vs Tampa Bay in 2010). Prior to his AFL career he was voted by af2 coaches and league officials in 2009 as one of the top ten signal callers in league history. He has led the AFL in passer rating and touchdowns, led the af2 in single season completion percentage and completions (2004), passer rating and touchdown/interception ratio (2006) touchdowns and touchdown passes (2008) and passing yards (2009). He also holds every Arkansas Twister and Columbus Wardog franchise passing records. He started his Arena Football career in 2003 and has played for numerous AFL and af2 teams, including the Charleston Swamp Foxes (2003), Columbus Wardogs (2004), Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers (2005), Manchester Wolves (2006, Philadelphia Soul (2007), Grand Rapids Rampage (2007), Arkansas Twisters (2008 & 2009), the Spokane Shock (2006 & 2010–2012) and the Orlando Predators.List of NFL quarterbacks who have posted a passer rating of zero
In the National Football League (NFL), the lowest official passer rating that a quarterback (QB) can achieve is 0.0. To achieve a passer rating of 0.0 in a game, a QB must have no touchdowns, complete no more than 30% of his pass attempts, average less than 3 yards per attempt, throw an interception on at least 9.5% of attempts and attempt at least 10 passes. The NFL does not count such games by QBs who attempt fewer than 10 passes in a game.Terry Bradshaw posted a zero rating on a record three occasions, while seven other QBs have two games of 0.0. Gary Keithley is the only QB ever to post zero ratings two straight weeks (1973). There have been two occasions where a starting QB, and his mid-game replacement, have both earned a zero rating in the same game: starter Joe Namath and replacement Richard Todd with the New York Jets (1976), and starter Terry Bradshaw and replacement Cliff Stoudt with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1982). Only once have opposing QBs both posted a zero rating: Gary Keithley and the St. Louis Cardinals defeated Bob Lee and the Atlanta Falcons (1973). No starting QB with a passer rating that low has won the game since Norm Snead in 1976.Twelve QBs have had a zero passer rating and also earned a perfect (158.3) passer rating during their careers: Otto Graham, Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Terry Bradshaw, Len Dawson, Bob Griese, James Harris, Bob Lee, Dan Fouts, Craig Morton, Eli Manning, and Peyton Manning.List of NFL quarterbacks who have posted a perfect passer rating
In the National Football League (NFL), the highest official passer rating that a quarterback can achieve is 158.3, which is called a "perfect passer rating". To qualify, during a single game a quarterback must attempt at least 10 passes, have zero interceptions, have a minimum completion percentage of a 77.5%, have a minimum of 11.88% of their passes score touchdowns, and have a minimum of 12.5 yards per attempt. The passer rating was developed in 1971.Applying the formula to pre and post-1971 quarterbacks, as of November 2018, there have been 60 different players, playing in 72 distinct games, who have achieved a perfect passer rating. Four of these games have occurred in the post-season. Seven quarterbacks have achieved the feat more than once: Ben Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning have four; Kurt Warner has three; and Craig Morton, Dave Krieg, Ken O'Brien, and Tom Brady have two.
Ben Roethlisberger is the only quarterback with multiple perfect ratings in a single regular season, when he achieved the feat twice in 2007. The San Francisco 49ers had two different quarterbacks achieve a perfect rating in the same season, with Steve Young (week 7) and Joe Montana (week 10) both earning perfect ratings. Peyton Manning had one perfect rating in the 2003 regular season and one in the post-season.
Drew Bledsoe, Robert Griffin III, and Marcus Mariota are the only quarterbacks to achieve a perfect passer rating in their rookie seasons, with Mariota being the only quarterback to post one in his NFL debut.
Five of these performances were in a losing cause, though Chad Pennington is the only quarterback to play from start to finish and earn both a loss and a perfect rating. Twelve quarterbacks have had a game where they earned a perfect 158.3 passer rating and also a game where they earned a 0.0 the lowest possible passer rating during their careers: Otto Graham, Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Terry Bradshaw, Len Dawson, Bob Griese, James Harris, Bob Lee, Craig Morton, Dan Fouts, Eli Manning, and Peyton Manning.
On 8 November 2018, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger became the most recent person to achieve a perfect passer rating.List of National Football League annual passer rating leaders
This is a list of National Football League quarterbacks who have led the regular season in passer rating each year. The record for highest passer rating in a season is held by Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers who had 122.5 in 2011. Steve Young is the only quarterback to lead the NFL in passer rating in six different seasons. Len Dawson achieved the same feat in the AFL.List of National Football League career passer rating leaders
The NFL rates its passers for statistical purposes against a fixed performance standard based on statistical achievements of all qualified pro passers since 1960. The current passer rating system, which was adopted in 1973, removes inequities that existed in the former method and, at the same time, provides a means of comparing passing performances from one season to the next.
It is important to remember that the system is used to rate passers, not quarterbacks. Statistics do not reflect leadership, play-calling, and other intangible factors that go into making a successful professional quarterback.
Four categories are used as a basis for compiling a rating:
Percentage of completions per attempt
Average yards gained per attempt
Percentage of touchdown passes per attempt
Percentage of interceptions per attemptThe average standard is 1.000. The bottom is .000. To earn a 2.000 rating, a passer must perform at exceptional levels, i.e., 70 percent in completions, 10 percent in touchdowns, 1.5 percent in
interceptions, and 11 yards average gain per pass attempt. In order to make the rating more understandable, the point rating is then converted into a scale of 100, with 158.3 being the
highest rating a passer can achieve. In cases where statistical performance has been superior, it is possible for a passer to surpass a 100 rating.
Quarterbacks are required to throw at least 1,500 passes before their ratings qualify for NFL career statistics for the regular season, and 150 attempts for the postseason.List of National Football League records (individual)
Here is a list of the records in the National Football League set by individual players.Nick Foles
Nicholas Edward Foles (born January 20, 1989) is an American football quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Arizona and was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He has also played for the St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs.
Foles played his first game with the Eagles in Week 10 of the 2012 season after Michael Vick left with an injury. Foles then made his first start the following week. In Week 9 of the 2013 season, he became the second quarterback to post a perfect passer rating (158.3) while passing for more than 400 yards, and also the first quarterback in NFL history to post a perfect passer rating and throw seven touchdowns in a single game. It was the 60th time in NFL history that a perfect passer rating was achieved overall.
After stints with the Rams and the Chiefs, Foles returned to the Eagles in 2017. After Carson Wentz was injured late in the regular season, Foles led the Eagles to the franchise's third Super Bowl appearance. The Eagles defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII for their first Super Bowl title, and Foles was named the game's MVP.Ray Mallouf
Raymond Lucian Mallouf (July 11, 1918 – June 6, 2008) was an American football quarterback and punter who played professionally in the National Football League (NFL). He was a part of the Chicago Cardinals' NFL championship team in 1947. Mallouf was the first quarterback in NFL history to achieve a perfect passer rating of 158.3 in a game.Russell Wilson
Russell Carrington Wilson (born November 29, 1988) is an American football quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). Wilson played college football for the University of Wisconsin during the 2011 season, in which he set the single-season FBS record for passing efficiency (191.8) and led the team to a Big Ten title and the 2012 Rose Bowl. Wilson also played football and baseball for North Carolina State University from 2008 to 2010 before transferring to Wisconsin. He played minor league baseball for the Tri-City Dust Devils in 2010 and the Asheville Tourists in 2011 as a second baseman.Wilson was selected by the Seahawks with the 12th pick in the third round (75th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. In 2012, he tied Peyton Manning's record for most passing touchdowns by a rookie (26) and was named the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year. In 2013, he led the Seahawks to their first ever Super Bowl victory in Super Bowl XLVIII over the Denver Broncos, and in 2014, led them to a second straight Super Bowl berth. Wilson has won more games (65) than any other NFL quarterback in his first six seasons, and has the second highest NFL career passer rating of all time behind Aaron Rodgers, the only other quarterback to have a regular season career passer rating of over 100. On July 31, 2015, Wilson signed a four-year, $87.6 million contract extension with the Seahawks, making him, at the time, the second highest paid player in the NFL.Steve Young
Jon Steven Young (born October 11, 1961) is a former professional American football quarterback who played 15 seasons in the National Football League (NFL) and is best known for his 13 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. He also played for the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Los Angeles Express of the United States Football League (USFL). Young played college football for Brigham Young University, setting school and NCAA records en route to being runner-up for the 1983 Heisman Trophy.
Young was named the AP's NFL Most Valuable Player in 1992 and 1994, and was the MVP of Super Bowl XXIX. During his 1994 MVP campaign, he set a new NFL record for passer rating at 112.8. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Young was an efficient passer—leading the league in passer rating a record six times, and completion percentage and yards per attempt five times. At the time of his retirement, he had the highest passer rating among NFL quarterbacks with at least 1,500 passing attempts (96.8). As of the end of the 2016 season, he is ranked fifth all-time in passer rating, and is ranked second highest amongst retired players, behind only Tony Romo. His 43 career rushing touchdowns are second among quarterbacks, while his 4,239 rushing yards ranks third all time.Total quarterback rating
Total quarterback rating (abbreviated as total QBR or simply QBR) is a proprietary statistic created by ESPN in 2011 to measure the performance of quarterbacks in American football. It incorporates all of a quarterback’s contributions to winning, including how he impacts the game on passes, rushes, turnovers, and penalties. Since QBR is built from the play level, it accounts for a team’s level of success or failure on every play to provide the proper context, then allocates credit to the quarterback and his teammates to produce a clearer measure of quarterback efficiency. It was created to be a more meaningful alternative to the passer rating but has been met with criticism among fans and commentators alike.Touchdown pass
In gridiron football, a touchdown pass is a pass thrown from the passer (usually the quarterback) to a receiver that results in a touchdown being scored. The pass can either be caught in the end zone itself, resulting in an immediate touchdown, or in the field of play, followed by the receiver carrying the ball into the endzone himself for the score. Either way, the quarterback is credited in his statistics with the touchdown pass.
The term "touchdown pass" is mostly used for statistical purposes for the quarterback. The statistic is considered to be highly prestigious among quarterbacks, and is one of the four factors in determining the passer rating.
In the game, the effect is simply the scoring of a touchdown (6 points). When a touchdown is achieved by running, the quarterback is not credited with a touchdown pass.
Gridiron football concepts
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