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Welcome to the blog of The Killer Nacho, known to most mortals as Timothy J. Sharpe, a Computer Science graduate of Messiah College and currently a Systems Analyst for Sunoco Logistics. Within this tome of pages, one will find my innermost thoughts about various things concerning things that I enjoy. These subjects include, but are not limited to, roleplaying, gaming, American Football (the NFL), things to do with computers, philosophy, movies that are awesome, TV shows that are awesome, my own writings and creative works, and dangerous Mexican snacks.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NFL Week 10 2011 Power Rankings & Predictions

Another interesting week in the NFL. It seems that there will be some serious shuffling within my Top 5 this week. Who remains at the top and who drops? Better read to find out!

Biggest Winner: Denver Broncos (+3)
Biggest Loser: Oakland Raiders (-4)

1. Green Bay Packers (8-0, +0): Green Bay continues to roll, marching into San Diego and getting a big win. The defense continues to allow big plays (this time for points), and this is an area of concern for me. But when the defense also scores 14 points of their own, this is okay. Aaron Rodgers was flawless, once again, but didn't have the yardage due to the two defensive touchdowns.

2. Baltimore Ravens (6-2, +2): Joe Flacco took a big step forward Sunday night, orchestrating a huge game-winning drive against the Steelers to come out on top, 23-20. The Ravens may have struggled as of late against inferior opponents, but they have survived with a 6-2 record, and swept key division rival Pittsburgh. They need to build on this success, however. They can't afford to fall off.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3, +0): The Steelers are now in a tough spot, with the Ravens having a tiebreaker over them. They played pretty well, but the defense folded in the final minutes (this may have something to do with the Linebacker injuries). All is not lost, however. They're only a half-game back from the Ravens. Ben Roethlisberger has been great lately, if his success continues this team is very difficult to defeat.

4. New Orleans Saints (6-3, +1): After the upset earlier in the season, the Saints did good to avoid that from happening twice in a row. Don't know what else to say, so I'll take this space to draw attention to the Tracy Porter injury. For those who don't know, Tracy Porter was hospitalized after making a low hit on Bucs WR Mike Williams. Please keep him in your prayers and thoughts.

5. New England Patriots (5-3, -3): Let's just say that losing two straight, this one at Gillette, is NOT a good sign. There are some serious problems this Patriots team needs to address on offense. The defense has improved, but it seems teams are figuring out how to beat Tom Brady, limiting the big play over the middle and getting constant pressure on the Quarterback. Bill Bellichick is one of the best coaches in football, but can he find a way to answer how teams are playing his offense?

6. Houston Texans (6-3, +0): I'm not hugely impressed with dispatching the Browns, but combined with a Titans loss, this creates some separation for them in the division. Houston is in a great position to finally make the playoffs... but can they avoid botching it this time? Time will tell. By the way, Arian Foster is a menace. And they will continue to get better when Andre Johnson comes back from injury.

7. San Francisco 49ers (7-1, +0): I don't really know what to think about the 49ers' 19-11 win over Washington. They keep winning, but they struggled in the Redzone, being forced to kick field goals on too many drives. Defensively, though, they continue to play strong against the run and pressuring opponent's Quarterbacks. Honestly, I don't know how good they actually are but they will defiantly make the playoffs... they could clinch their division before Thanksgiving.

8. New York Giants (6-2, +2): Okay, okay, I admit. I was wrong about Eli Manning. This guy is the real deal... he may not post flashy numbers all the time, but there is something special about this guy being able to orchestrate game-winning drives in the fourth quarter. That final Giants drive reminded me eerily of their last meeting, in the Super Bowl, in which Eli also famously marched the Giants to a win over the Patriots.

9. Detroit Lions (6-2, -1): The Lions had a bye, which hopefully allows them to get Jahvid Best healthy. He's a serious receiving threat out of the backfield and one of the reasons Matthew Stafford's numbers are down in recent games. They signed ex-Cowboys Guard Leonard Davis, which is an interesting move. He can't be  much worse than Stephen Peterman, who has been beyond awful this season for the Lions.

10. Atlanta Falcons (5-3, -1):What a return for Julio Jones, who had two huge receiving touchdowns in great grabs against the Colts! Granted, it was only the Colts, so I'm not going to over-hype the Falcons for their blowout win, but at 5-3, they are the main rival to the Saints to claim the NFC South title. Matt Ryan is starting to look like he did last season... and Michael Turner... this guy just isn't falling off like other Runningbacks at his age.

11. New York Jets (5-3, +2): Huge win here for the Jets, going into Buffalo and winning, something teams have not been able to do. Not only did they win, though, but convincingly, thanks to great defensive effort in stopping the Freddie Jackson-led running game. I still don't like Mark Sanchez... he forces too many turnovers for my liking. But the defense is good enough to keep this team in competition this season.

12. Chicago Bears (5-3, +2): The Bears won a huge Monday night game versus the Eagles, there. The Bears offensive line has seemed much better in recent weeks, opening running lanes for Matt Forte and giving Jay Cutler time to get the ball to his receivers. Speaking of Cutler, he had a pretty good Monday night. He looked poised and delivered some accurate balls. With that win, the Bears sit at 5-3, not a bad position in this NFC wildcard race.

13. San Diego Chargers (4-4, -3): Disappointment is typical for San Diego. Philip Rivers continues being on and off this season. He threw two pick sixes in the first half, putting the Chargers in a terrible position, down against a Packers offense that can't be stopped. Yet, he was able to nearly come back, throwing for over 350 yards and four touchdowns. This kind of inconsistent play has become their identity. Unfortunately, they won't win many championships that way.

14. Buffalo Bills (5-3, -2): Buffalo was clobbered. The Jets came into their house, and pushed their finesse offense around effortlessly. Defensively, it was a valiant effort keeping them in the ball game but eventually they wore down which led to the Jets scoring some points. At 5-3, Buffalo has to worry in a tight AFC wildcard race. They are walking the razor's edge... they could easily be out of the playoffs.

15. Dallas Cowboys (4-4, +1): Nice win against a crappy NFC West team, I guess. They still remain the sole team with a win over the 49ers, but struggle in almost every game they play. I'm pretty mad at Dez Braynt, who cost me mucho fantasy points on a lost fumble that should've been a touchdown. C'mon man! We'll see how Tony Romo can play against real competition.

16. Philadelphia Eagles (3-5, -1): The Eagles could not afford to lose that game, but they did anyway. Now they sit at 3-5, which is a bad position if they are looking to earn a wildcard in the NFC. Even worse is that now the Bears have the head-to-head tiebreaker over them, so they pretty much need to win out to sniff the playoffs. Defensively, I don't think the Eagles got a whole lot better. They still struggle containing the run.

17. Cincinnati Bengals (6-2, +2): The Bengals have had a very light schedule thus far, but now they are headed into a very difficult stretch. At 6-2, this team is not nearly as good as the record indicates (but they have shown some serious promise for the future). Technically, they are first in the AFC North right now, but don't expect this to hold for very long, as they still have to play Baltimore and Pittsburgh twice each.

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-4, -1): I'm not really a fan of the Buccaneers this year. LeGarrette Blount has not really progressed as I thought he would, he should not be taken off the field in a key situation for Lumpkin. Josh Freeman played well at the end, but being nearly shut out in the first half won't lead to many wins in this league... Defensively, Tampa Bay is solid, however.

19. Minnesota Vikings (2-6, +1): Christian Ponder gets another shot at the Packers on Monday night... but this one is in Lambeau, in primetime. I think this is the game that will really tell us about Ponder's progression. He has played well, but this is by far the hardest game he's had to play in. While I don't expect him to win, I think he'll play good against a Packers secondary surrendering four touchdowns last game against the Chargers.

20. Carolina Panthers (2-6, +1): It will be interesting to see how Cam Newton plays the rest of the season. I really worry about hot rookies coming off byes, since bye weeks have a bad tendency to cool hot teams and players. We'll see how Cam Newton responds to this challenge. If he remains playing at a high level, Carolina will be victorious in quite a few more games this year.

21. Tennessee Titans (4-4, +2): The Titans drop to the hot Bengals, they simply aren't the same team without Kenny Britt. At least Chris Johnson had his best game of the season against a tough Bengals defense. He had over 100 yards from scrimmage, but was held out of the endzone again. Its a good sign for Johnson fantasy owners, though. He looks to actual care again about his level of play.

22. Oakland Raiders (4-4, -4): We all know that if the Raiders drop to the Broncos, we're all going to be questioning the trade for Palmer, in which the Raiders gave up a 1st rounder and 2nd rounder for the washed-up Quarterback. Once again, Palmer throws three picks, not proving 1st and 2nd round worth. Defensively, they were unable to have the same success against Tebow as Miami nor Kansas City, only gaining 2 sacks while also giving up a bunch of rushing yardage to both Tebow and Willis McGahee.

23. Kansas City Chiefs (4-4, -1): So much for Todd Haley's beard leading to wins... Honestly, I don't know what happened. The Chiefs defense, which has been great recently, could not stop the Dolphins. They did not get a single sack, and allowed a huge day to Brandon Marshall and... Reggie Bush. Offensively, they could only get 3 points and surrendered 5 sacks against the Dolphins (they allowed only 13 all year prior to this game). Part of this loss I suspect was psychological, so I wouldn't be shocked to see them bounce back.

24. Washington Redskins (3-5, +0): Rex Grossman or John Beck... that is the question. John Beck has looked "better", but does not have the same swagger or intangibles as Rex Grossman. When Grossman was starting, at least the Redskins were winning some games. Which is a shame for me to admit since I really like John Beck. Of course, the Quarterback is not the only problem in Washington, as the Redskins have sustained key injuries on both sides of the ball.

25. Cleveland Browns (3-5, +0): The Browns are not a good team, although to be fair to them, they were without their two best Runningbacks. Still, they didn't really use them effectively when they had them, throwing far too much with the ineffective Colt McCoy. As I mentioned, their three wins were unconvincing wins against some of the worst NFL teams... Miami, Seattle, and Indianapolis. Maybe Eric Mangini wasn't such a bad coach after all... but we'll see how Pat Shurmur is able to improve his team next season. I'm interested.

26. Denver Broncos (3-5, +3): Tebow showed some improvement against Oakland, only taking two sacks and not giving up any turnovers. The return of Willis McGahee was also an immediate impact, as he rushed for an insane amount of yards, including an 80-yard touchdown run. Tebow is forming a nice relationship with Eric Decker and Eddie Royal. I'm still not convinced Tebow can succeed as an NFL Quarterback, but he played well in this game and more importantly, earned another win.

27. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6, -1): Jacksonville may be the Colts' only real chance at a win this season, because Blaine Gabbert has not played well. We'll see if he can make some significant progress coming off the bye, but it was well-known when he was drafted that he was a project. Maurice Jones-Drew is their only offensive weapon, and at least their defense continues to impress.

28. Arizona Cardinals (2-6, -1): Arizona won without Kevin Kolb, in overtime. But considering how it happened (a Patrick Peterson return touchdown), I can't really say I'm too impressed. Especially when you consider that the Rams missed a game-winning field goal in the fourth quarter... how many of these happened this season? With the 49ers playing so well, the Cardinals have little to no chance at the playoffs. Goodbye, Ken Whisenhunt?

29. Miami Dolphins (1-7, +2): My eyes saw 31-3 Miami, but I really didn't believe it until the day after. I fully expected them to blow their 14-3 halftime lead to lose the game, but it just didn't happen. The Dolphins have improved in every game this season, I honestly can see a few more wins for this team this season (which is unfortunate, since this will likely eliminate from Andrew Luck-contention). Matt Moore has shown the most improvement, but I'm not convinced he is the long-term answer. Now that Suck for Luck is all but over, what now? Blow for Barkley? Hmm...

30. St. Louis Rams (1-7, -2): Getting Bradford back but being unable to build off last week's win is terrible for this team. They had an easy game against a poor Cardinals team without their starting Quarterback, but did not play well. Bradford threw a pick, and while they lost partly due to a missed field goal at the end of the game, it really shouldn't have been that close.

31. Seattle Seahawks (2-6, -1): They had some promising spots this season, but ultimately, I think I was spot on when I said I considered them one of the worst teams at the start of the season. Pete Carroll will not be fired, I think, but they need to get a franchise Quarterback in next year's draft. Tavaris Jackson nor Charlie Whitehurst are the answer. An interesting idea is USC's Matt Barkley, who may declare for next year's draft.

32. Indianapolis Colts (0-9, +0): Okay, so Curtis Painter sucks. in their 31-7 loss, their only points came in a pick six. The last time the Colts were 0-9 was the season before they drafted Peyton Manning. It now seems likely at this point that they will be able to land their next franchise Quarterback, Andrew Luck. The interesting thing will be what they do with Peyton Manning in the off-season. He's quite outspoken in the belief that first overall picks should start from day one, as he did. Would Peyton request a trade or to be released? Will be interesting.

Predictions for Next Week

TKN's accuracy, Last week: 9-5 (64.29%)
Billy's accuracy, Last week: 7-7 (50.00%)
AFS's* accuracy, Last week: 9-5 (64.29%)

TKN's Overall 2011 accuracy: 86-44 (66.15%)
Billy's Overall 2011 accuracy: 83-47 (63.85%)
AFS's* Overall 2011 accuracy: 87-43 (66.92%)
*American Football Simulator averages of 2,000 simulations.

Pretty average weeks for me and the Simulator, but Billy took a pounding in Week 9, only getting half of his pick'em picks correct, a mere 50%. Only time will tell if he can recover. The Simulator still leads by a single game.

Oakland (4-4) @ San Diego (4-4)
TheKillerNacho: Welcome back to Thursday Night Football! Which of these AFC West teams will be able to bounce back after a loss on a short week? You have to like San Diego at home here. They came close against the Packers, and the Raiders are in a downward spiral with Carson Palmer. I'd find it very surprising if the Raiders happened to pull off the upset. Both teams starting Runningbacks should come back this game, so thats a sign of good hope for both teams.
UPDATE: Darren McFadden has already been ruled out, which really hurts Oakland's chances. This means they will rely once more on the arm of Carson Palmer, who has thrown 6 picks since coming back, playing in only a game in a half. Oakland's screwed.
Oakland 16, San Diego 27

Billy:
Oakland 26, San Diego 37 

American Football Simulator:
Oakland 23, San Diego 26

Kolb returns to Philadelphia to play his former team.
Arizona (2-6) @ Philadelphia (3-5)
TheKillerNacho: Philadelphia should have no problem dispatching the Cardinals. The only interest for me in this game is Kevin Kolb's return to Philadephia (assuming he is able to play). The Cardinals are a horrible road team and their defensive secondary is horrible thanks to the Eagles robbing Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie from them. Michael Vick should have little problem picking them apart here.
UPDATE: So much for Kolb's return to Philadelphia. Per Schefter, Kolb will likely miss another game to turf toe. That means we get to see John Skelton again. The question becomes, how can Philly possibly botch this?

Arizona 13, Philadelphia 28

Billy:
Arizona 14, Philadelphia 35 

American Football Simulator:
Arizona 21, Philadelphia 31

Jacksonville (2-6) @ Indianapolis (0-9)
TheKillerNacho: I really, really, really, really want to pick the upset here but I can't bring myself to do it, even with the Colts at home. The Colts proved last Sunday they are just as inept at home this season than they are away, and I do not see how the Colts defense stops Maurice Jones-Drew. Furthermore, Jacksonville has a solid defense, I can't see them giving up too many points to Curtis Painter.
Jacksonville 23, Indianapolis 13

Billy:
Jacksonville 13, Indianapolis 10 

American Football Simulator:
Jacksonville 24, Indianapolis 22

Denver (3-5) @ Kansas City (4-4)
TheKillerNacho: This game is near-impossible to predict. Will we see good Tebow or bad Tebow? Will we see good Chiefs or bad Chiefs? I'm picking the Chiefs here for one reason: I honestly think last game was a fluke. They got overconfident with their 4-game winning streak, and they will come out angry against this Denver squad. After not getting a single sack against Miami, I'm thinking Kansas City will get several against Tebow.
Denver 14, Kansas City 20

Billy:
Denver 27, Kansas City 20 

American Football Simulator:
Denver 19, Kansas City 22

Pittsburgh (6-3) @ Cincinnati (6-2)
TheKillerNacho: This is the beginning of the end for the Bengals, I think. They may have had a shot had Pittsburgh beaten the Ravens due to the potential of this being a trap game, but hear, the Steelers will be ready to send the Bengals back to what they are - mediocrity. This is the hardest game Andy Dalton has had to play all season. How will he respond? We'll see.
Pittsburgh 23, Cincinnati 17

Billy:
Pittsburgh 29, Cincinnati 17 

American Football Simulator:
Pittsburgh 24, Cincinnati 18

Buffalo (5-3) @ Dallas (4-4)
TheKillerNacho: Dallas is coming off a solid win over the crappy Seahawks, Buffalo is coming off a huge loss against the division-rival Jets. In Dallas, I like Tony Romo to continue his success against Buffalo. I don't think this game will be easy by any stretch, but I'm taking the Cowboys.
Buffalo 21, Dallas 24

Billy:
Buffalo 24, Dallas 28 

American Football Simulator:
Buffalo 24, Dallas 26

Michael Turner looks to have a big week against NO.
New Orleans (6-3) @ Atlanta (5-3)
TheKillerNacho: One of the most important games of the week, in  my opinion, with first place in the NFC South on the line. Typically, both New Orleans and Atlanta are teams that play much better at home in their own dome than away. I expect the Falcons will win this round at home, but with how Drew Brees is playing, you cannot count the Saints out this season.
New Orleans 27, Atlanta 28

Billy:
New Orleans 30, Atlanta 33 

American Football Simulator:
New Orleans 25, Atlanta 28

St. Louis (1-7) @ Cleveland (3-5)
TheKillerNacho: For the Browns, they get to play another crappy team, hoping to make it 4 wins against some of the worst teams in the league. For the Rams, they want to bounce back after a dissapointing loss to the Cardinals. The Rams are probably not as bad as 1-7 indicates as they've played a very difficult schedule, so I'll pick them in the upset.
St. Louis 20, Cleveland 17

Billy:
St. Louis 14, Cleveland 6 

American Football Simulator:
St. Louis 22, Cleveland 23

Washington (3-5) @ Miami (1-7)
TheKillerNacho: Washington is on their way down, while Miami has improved following every game... However, this is in Miami, where the Dolphins have played their worst football in the last couple seasons. Also, John Beck returns to Miami here, he'll want revenge against a Dolphins team that gave up on him after a single season. I'm picking the Redskins.
Washington 24, Miami 20

Billy:
Washington 12, Miami 22 

American Football Simulator:
Washington 20, Miami 21

Houston (6-3) @ Tampa Bay (4-4)
TheKillerNacho: Houston keeps rolling, while Tampa Bay has its back against the wall looking up at a very hard climb to wildcard contention. Houston has not been great on the road against quality opponents, so I would not be surprised with a Tampa Bay upset, but this is another game that Houston ought to win. Can Houston win on the road against a quality opponent? That is the question.
Houston 27, Tampa Bay 24

Billy:
Houston 31, Tampa Bay 17 

American Football Simulator:
Houston 27, Tampa Bay 25

How well can the rookie play coming off his first bye?
Tennessee (4-4) @ Carolina (2-6)
TheKillerNacho: At home coming off a bye, it will be interesting to see how Cam Newton plays. I think he continues his success and even gets a win against a Titans team struggling without Kenny Britt. On the Titans side, I'll be interested to see if Chris Johnson can continue to build off the success he found last week, where he had over 100 yards from scrimmage. The Panthers defense has not played well this season.
Tennessee 23, Carolina 26

Billy:
Tennessee 18, Carolina 25 

American Football Simulator:
Tennessee 24, Carolina 25

Baltimore (6-2) @ Seattle (2-6)
TheKillerNacho: Beware, Baltimore! As good as you guys are, your Achilles heal is bad football teams. Seattle is no stranger to pulling off upsets, either, as they dispatched of the Giants earlier in the year and last postseason upset the Saints in the Wildcard round. Baltimore should win this game handily... but will they? That's a different story.
Baltimore 24, Seattle 16

Billy:
Baltimore 40, Seattle 31 

American Football Simulator:
Baltimore 27, Seattle 18

Detroit (6-2) @ Chicago (5-3)
TheKillerNacho: Huge game for both teams. The Lions are in a nice position in the NFC wildcard race at 6-2, while the Bears are still fighting to remain in contention. The Bears defense is not to be trifled with, they will have little problem stopping the running game if Jahvid Best returns or not. Its up to Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford to beat them in the air. On the other side of the ball, the Lions front seven should get enough pressure on Jay Cutler to force him to make poor decisions.
Detroit 26, Chicago 21

Billy:
Detroit 17, Chicago 21 

American Football Simulator:
Detroit 20, Chicago 24

New York G (6-2) @ San Francisco (7-1)
TheKillerNacho: Both teams are promising NFC candidates. San Francisco is second to only Green Bay in win percentage, while the Giants are coming off a huge win at New England. This may be the best team San Francisco has had to deal with all season, so I think this will be their first loss since they dropped to another NFC East team, the Dallas Cowboys. While I expect this game to be very close virtually the entire game, I think Eli Manning will once again come up big in the fourth.
New York G 24, San Francisco 23

Billy:
New York G 23, San Francisco 24 

American Football Simulator:
New York G 24, San Francisco 23

Bellichick vs Rex Ryan has been an interesting battle since Ryan came to NY.
New England (5-3) @ New York J (5-3)
TheKillerNacho: Bill Bellichick can't really lose three straight, can he? Then again, his offense has struggled against Dallas, Pittsburgh, and New York as Rex Ryan's brother, Rob, seemed to discover the key to stopping Brady & the Patriots offense. Can Rex Ryan continue this success in New York? The Jets have huge defensive talent, so probably. However, I don't think Mark Sanchez is as good as Eli Manning in clutch time... the Patriots will find a way to win... when was the last time they dropped THREE straight, anyway?
New England 23, New York J 20

Billy:
New England 34, New York J 26 

American Football Simulator:
New England 22, New York J 23

Minnesota (2-6) @ Green Bay (8-0)
TheKillerNacho: As I said in Minnesota's writeup, this is the hardest game Christian Ponder has faced as a starter... playing away, in Lambeau, in primetime, against the undefeated Packers. I think the rookie plays well, but makes some mistakes in this situation. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers abuses the poor Minnesota secondary... again. Minnesota will need another big showing from Jared Allen to stand a chance.
Minnesota 23, Green Bay 28

Billy:
Minnesota 24, Green Bay 42 

American Football Simulator:
Minnesota 19, Green Bay 27

Question of the Week

Last week, I asked my readers "Which scenario is most likely to occur?" between the IND going 0-16, MIA going 0-16, or GB going 16-0. IND going 0-16 eventually won this poll with 55% of the vote, and honestly, that looks to be a strong prediction after a 31-7 blowout (in which their only points was a pick six). 45% of the voters voted for Green Bay going 16-0, which is still alive. No one voted for Miami going 0-16, which is good, since if you did, you would've been wrong after this week.

This week's question is "Which 6-win team is most likely to collapse (and not make the playoffs)?" between the Baltimore Ravens (6-2), Cincinnati Bengals (6-2), Houston Texans (6-3), New Orleans Saints (6-3), Detroit Lions (6-2), or the New York Giants (6-2). As I mentioned in my Power Rankings, while I like how they have improved, the Cincinnati Bengals are the obvious choice. They have had a lax schedule, and I don't see them beating Pittsburgh or Baltimore. At the end of the season, I think they will be outside looking in to the playoffs.

Vote on the right-hand side of my blog!

5 comments:

  1. I hope you dont get paid for this you suck are rating teams.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Aww, did you get your feelings hurt cause your team sucks?

    Sworry.

    And I do make some revenue off this site :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Maybe I am a little biased being a Raiders fan, but I wouldn't exactly say the Raiders are "screwed" this week. Yes, there won't be McFadden, but Michael Bush is a solid RB as well, and Palmer at one point had 3 TD's to 1 pick last week. He's still a little rusty, but I wouldn't rule him out having a good (maybe even great?) game this week. We shall see. Otherwise great read as always.

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  4. Haha, its all good.

    Honestly, I just don't trust a team that just got dropped by the Broncos, and can't stop the run. Playing against a team with two very good RB.

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  5. Excellent pieces. Keep posting such kind of information on your blog. I really impressed by your blog.
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    ReplyDelete