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Rams comeback falls short 35-32 at Buffalo; The Good, Bad and Ugly

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  • Rams comeback falls short 35-32 at Buffalo; The Good, Bad and Ugly

    The Rams lost a 35-32 heatbreaker today on the road at buffalo, spoiling the best comeback in the teams history by failing to stop stud young qb josh allen on the final drive of the game. Allen threw a short td pass for the victory with 15 seconds left following a very very tough INT call on Darious Williams on an incomplete pass on 4th and 9 that would have ended the game. Not blaming that call for the loss, the Rams dug an enormous 28-3 hole for themselves in this game and on the last buffalo drive gave up a 3rd and 22 on first down and allowed a 16 yard pass on 3rd and 25. This was really two different games, and you have to be proud of how the Rams fought back, although at the end of the day, its really a lost opportunity given where we were at the end. Buffalo really won this game by going 5-5 in the red zone. The Rams won every single statistical category and still lost. When is the last time the Rams lost a game where they NEVER PUNTED? Someone can look that one up. In any event, we knew this was going to be a tough game and we came within one defensive stop of one of the greatest regular season victories in the history of the team. Let's see if McVay can rally the troops and be ready to beat an undemanned new york giants team next week in LA.


    The Good

    Aaron Donald was just great today. Multiple non-called holding penalties, along with 2 sacks, 6 tackles and a forced fumble with recovery.

    Goff played well overall (certainly well enough to win), the second half was phenomenal, the first half decent. 22-32-321- 2ds and 1 into for a qb rating of 111.6. Some outstanding throws, and you have to love the way he lead the team back. If we had gotten the ball back with any timeouts and any time, i would have liked our chances to score yet again. He actually made some throws under pressure today (including the td to woods), and threw into a number of tight holes. Once the pass rush slowed down and the receivers opened up, he was very surgical and just picked them apart. I even liked his adjustments at the line.

    The offensive line allowed two sacks on the first drive (one of which goff should have thrown away). None after that point against a very good defense. The run blocking was solid. Team running game was 32-167 which is outstanding.
    Henderson was outstanding today. 20-114 and a couple of catches. Showed some real burst and had some nice gaps to run.
    Woods (5-74 with td and 3-30 running) and Kupp (9-107 with td and some huge third down catches) both played really good games. Everett made a sensational third down catch for a first down and higbee had catches (and a two point conversion) on his targets, which frankly, were not frequent enough.

    We scored 32 points. had 478 yards 28 first downs, had the ball for 32 minutes against an outstanding defense and NEVER PUNTED. respectable 6-10 on 3rd down and 0-1 on 4th down
    Most importantly, we showed tremendous intenstinal fortitude as a team, not quitting despite being down 21-3 at half and then going down 28-3 in third quarter, to come all the way back and take a 32-28 lead in the fourth quarter with a little under 5 minutes remaining.
    Great INT by Johnson (very close call, looked like a tie ball)
    Hill led the team with 8 tackles, but donald was the clear star on defense. The two non-Donald sacks were by Fox and Floyd
    I loved how mcvay stayed with the run game
    We only had 3 penalties for 30 yards (albeit a huge one that cost us the game at the end)
    Sensational 97 yard drive to get the game really close.


    The Bad

    The Goff INT was a bad decision and throw, especially since he had an open receiver in the flat for a possible catch and run first down
    Not an easy kick, cant call a 53 yard miss in some wind ugly, but it was still a miss and we lost the game by 3 points. Not good for Sloman
    Kickoff coverage was bad bordering on ugly and it wasnt the kickoffs this week. We gave up plenty of field position on kicks deep into the end zone
    Injuries, lets hope not too severe. Higbee was in and out with an ankle. Fuller went out early with a shoulder and i dont think he came back. Sebastian Day went out with a leg injury and i didnt see him come back
    Goff not throwing the ball away and taking the sack hurt us. We were in field goal range. That sequence was a killer. See below in ugly.
    Out use of timeouts STINKS. We burned three second half time outs in a close game in situations where we should not have to have used any. Cant figure out how is calling a timeout on defense on the last drive with the clock stopped with 49 seconds left on 3rd and 17 (the timeout didnt help). I guess too much confusion with the injuries in the secondary.

    I will give him a break and put in bad, but our 100 million corner Ramsey gave up 2 TD catches today.
    Our run defense was worse than it looked and buffalo almost blew this game getting away from the run. We got gashed way too much 21-101. Why buffalo doesnt run more is beyond me.
    I have no idea how no holding penalties are called on the guys blocking donald. His jersey is grabbed time and again.
    Kupp had GOT to catch that 72 yard punt that backed us up to the 3 yard line. Gun shy from last week I bet.


    The Ugly

    This game was lost on red zone defense. Sure, Josh Allen played a great game (24-33-311 4 tds and 128 rating) and a give him a ton of credit. That kid is a franchise qb for sure. However, we had countless changes to make plays early and late on defense and just couldnt do it. Buffalo was 5-5 in the red zone converting tds and that was the difference in the game because while the Rams won the yardage battle, they got sacked twice in a row while they were in field goal range early (leading to the 53 yard miss) and couldnt convert into a td when they had a first down on the buffalo 12 yard line (and in fact when three yards backwards on three plays to settle for a 30 yard field goal). In a close game against a playoff caliber (and potentially championship caliber) team, you have to know that red zone is mission critical. Remember, its about points, not yardage. You get away with that stuff against many teams, not a team as good as buffalo.

    The last drive on defense was a perfect summary of the game. We play great in spots, but awful in spots. Allowing the 3rd and 22 conversion was just UGLY in the extreme. Allowing a 16 yard pass on 3rd and 25 and then the penalty on 4th and 9 was just brutal.

    Our pass rush was UGLY in the extreme until the middle of the third quarter. We would up with 4 sacks, but not enough pressure or when we did get pressure on the last drive we could not get allen on the ground enough allowing him to extend plays and make the throws that won them the game. Our pass rush is a really serious concern other than donald
    Our early run defense was ugly
    Allowing buffalo a 3rd td in a row right before half to make the game 21-3 was ugly. Just ugly first half defense, continuing into the first drive on the second half where the rams fell behind 28-3. I get it that field position sure didnt help, we were just one play short on defense from winning this game.
    You really have to call the first half performance ugly, down 21-3 only right bright spots kupp and henderson at that point.


    Summary

    A brutal loss after getting so close to a season defining victory. Still, overall, a performance to be proud of on the road against an outstanding team that won in the playoffs last year, has an unlimited future, and a legitimate chance to be a contender for years to come assuming the continued health of josh allen. The Rams need to find a better pass rush and obviously, need to improve the red zone defense to win a game like this. allowing 5 tds in 5 trips to the red zone is simply unacceptable. 2-1 is pretty good given the quality of the teams we have played, we have no room for error in the next two weeks against the new york giants and then washington leading up to a huge game vs the whiners. We all know how tough the division is. The real test will be how the Rams rebound from such a tough loss. Hopefully, McVay can keep them focused on the glass half full and try to get them to be more consistent throughout the entire game, rather than playing like super bowl champions on offense for half the game, and solid defensively to improve on todays outcome. The real key for the Rams continues to be the running game on offense and the pass rush on defense. We are running very well and wearing teams down. That is a recipe for continued success, but we need to finish drives with touchdowns. The defense was obviously disappointing today, and again, its pass rush, not just red zone. Let's hope the injuries are not serious, the season is off to a generally good start and we need all of our guys as we head deeply into the grind that is the NFL season.

    Really tough loss and congrats to an excellent team that really showed something coming back on the last drive to win the game.

    Ramming speed to all

    general counsel


  • #2
    I can't remember being this genuinely angry after a game in a long time. Most of you guys know I am not one to whine about officiating or blame referees for losses. But this call today was infuriating on a number of levels. First, the refs called 6 penalties the entire game- SIX, only two of which were against the Rams. Then with 15 seconds to go, the official decides he wants to get involved by calling a questionable-at-best interference call, most of which transpired inside the five yard window you're given. And all this was done to bail out a team that blew a 25 point lead and deserved to lose.

    The flip side of course is what the hell Williams was doing even jostling with the guy- Rams had an extra man right in Allen's face on the rush and the ball would've been incomplete from my view, making the play that much more needless. Rams allowed a 3rd and 16 completion to get to that point, and the real killer was allowing a 3rd and 22 conversion to Beasley previously on the same drive which is as bad as it gets. They also failed to wrap up Allen several times on the drive with him firmly in their sights.

    Rams need to stop taking 1st halves off defensively before thinking that shutting down an opponent in the 2nd half will be good enough. It's great that they seemingly make successful adjustments for the 2nd half of games, but you've got to play 4 quarters of defense and not have these lapses where you give up untimely big plays. I'm not impressed with much of our secondary play and certainly not pleased with the pass rush other than Donald.

    Our use of timeouts must improve. I'm hoping this and many other slip ups are the byproduct of having new coordinators and some new pieces. Time will tell.

    If you'd have told me we'd be 2-1 after our first three games, I'd have signed up in a heartbeat, but that said this loss was a tough one to take. I always have mixed feelings about comebacks- it's great they showed grit but alarming it was necessary in the first place. We cannot- repeat CANNOT have slip ups vs the Giants and Washington the next two weeks or it will tarnish our achievements thus far.



    Comment


    • #3
      GREAT job GC. Beautiful summary (considering, alas, the 'Ugly' side) of this tough, exciting / frustrating game. Memorable loss to ponder for a long time.

      Excellent post NJ. I share your pain. "Ahggggg!"

      Comment


      • #4
        Very good recap GC. You touched all the points I was aware of despite only getting NFL RZ. We were not going to get to 16-0, so lets take as much learning, of which there is usually plenty of in a loss. I like our chances in the next 3 games so I will focus on that. I do have a concern about Sam Sloman as you point out. That missed FG could have had us tied and going into OT with momentum.

        Some good news was the AZ loss, but the Sqawks are going to be tough to beat, assuming they remain healthy. Interesting to see the Chris Carson matter as he hurt his ankle late in the game. Good that we're heading home for our next game.

        Comment


        • #5
          Good write up as always.

          What a heartbreaker of game. But I we never gave up and we will learn alot from this game. I am also happy that there is not much crying on this board about the refs. Yes the PI call in the end was a killer, but we also got a break on the int. It was not the refs that cost us the game, it was our first half sloppy play on D. So nice that we are not cry babies like the Aints!

          GO RAMS!

          Comment


          • #6
            Tremendous comeback when it looked like the Rams were toast early in the 3rd and I was wondering why I was still watching. The way the NFL is right now, offenses are way ahead of defenses and execution all over the field is erratic. No lead is safe, ask the Falcons who the Bills resembled after they went up by 25 and fell apart. Refs and apparently booth reviews aren't up to regular season form either because there is simply no way Johnson had an INT on that play. The pass interference? It happens and technically it probably was but that's the breaks either way.

            Best thing about the game to me was the Rams really showed some heart to come back and McVay gets a lot of credit from me on keeping the O focused and guided, no panic, no massive change of the gameplan. The D looked like they hadn't practiced together this year and there were several breakdowns in the secondary where safeties and CB's weren't on the same page. The DL is Aaron Donald and much of nothing. Diggs is a good WR but not elite and he burned Ramsey twice for TD's, one of which counted. The other 3rd Diggs called back TD wasn't on Ramsey, but c'mon, this isn't Michael Thomas or Hopkins out there.

            Nice it wasn't a NFC loss too!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ClarasDK View Post
              Good write up as always.
              It was not the refs that cost us the game, it was our first half sloppy play on D.

              Sadly, bottom line reality. Big "learning lesson" though; hopefully we will get that much out of this tough loss.

              Last edited by RealRam; 4 weeks ago. Reason: Tyop!

              Comment


              • #8
                The d- back coverage style of looking at the receiver but not looking back at the qb cost them. Don't know if they were beat and trying to catch up but either way that doesn't get it done.
                :helmet:

                Comment


                • #9
                  Game on line ......

                  3rd 15

                  3rd 22

                  Rams failed on both SAME DRIVE Not championship caliber football at all. Season still early but come on man........

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    To give up this many points with 2 100 million dollar guys is disgusting. And you wonder why I say that we should have traded Ramsey......look at his play on today, he is not worth it. He is not the corner that Gilmore is: period. That being said, the defense looks just like it did last year. We do not have the guys for a 3-4, and I don't know why the coaching staff doesn't get it.

                    Comment

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                    • general counsel
                      Rams gouge giants 17-9; The Good, Bad and Ugly
                      by general counsel
                      The Rams pushed their record to 3-1 today with an ugly home victory against the 0-4 and undermanned new york giants. In a game that was essentially the complete opposite of last week, the Rams utilized terrific red zone defense to overcome an anemic offensive performance after our first drive to eek out the victory. A 55 yard third down td pass to Kupp and a game saving diving interception by Darius Williams were the key plays in the Rams victory. Not sure how McVay could have been any more conservative today in his play calling, but as we all know, there are no style points in the NFL and you take whatever wins you can get and move on to your next opponent. We will have to play a lot better on offense, but if we dont give up any touchdowns and only 9 points every week, we are going to win a lot of games.

                      The Good

                      Goff wound up 25-32-200 and the td to kupp for a rating of 103. He wasn't great today, but he didnt miss many throws either. It was almost all underneath stuff as we could not get the ball down the field in material part due to the fact that we could not run the ball well and play action was not effective. I thought we should have rolled him out more, but i discuss that below in the bad section on McVay's play calling. The Kupp throw was on target and he had another throw early to kupp that should have been caught. He had one badly missed throw to start the second half where he had woods open in a tight window and almost threw an INT but fortunately the ball hit the ground. Goff certainly didnt play great, today, didnt play badly, so i will give him the benefit of the doubt and put him in the good category. I wish he had thrown more quick shots and slants to the tight ends, but again, see play calling analysis below

                      Defense allowed only 67 first half yards, no touchdowns all game, 295 yards for the game, and the huge game clinching interception by Darius Williams. The key was red zone performance. The Rams lost to buffalo last week by allowing 5 td's in 5 trips into the red zone for buffalo. The Rams defense bent in the second half as the offense could not move the ball and the defense got worn down, but it did not break, it help new york to three field goals and made some really key plays. New York was only 5-15 on 3rd and 4th down. Game ball really goes to the defense. They got worn down (new york had a 33-27 time of possession advantage after starting out early with the Rams really controlling the ball.

                      We had four first half sacks (although a couple of them were really slips or coverage) and one second half for a total of five. Donald and Ebukam 1/2 each. Fox, Obo, Brokers and Hollins had the other four sacks.

                      The Kupp TD was terrific and the Williams interception was truly a great play to clinch the game. That is the second sensational play of the season for Williams as he had the key end zone INT in the philly game.
                      First drive was awesome, right...
                      3 weeks ago
                    • general counsel
                      Rams count out cowboys 20-17; The Good, Bad and Ugly
                      by general counsel
                      The Rams opened the 2020 season and their brand new $5 billion stadium with a playoff caliber 20-17 win over dallas. The game was incredibly well played by both teams considering it's week one and the unique covid related circumstances created a great deal of uncertainty for all NFL teams. Sure, the Rams got a break on a close call on an offensive pass interference call at the end (a call that could have gone either way), but dallas fans have nothing to complain about because the momentum of this game totally changed on a 100% completely obvious blown non-call when Goff got hit in the head on his one INT in the game which game dallas possession deep in our territory instead of giving us a drive sustaining first down. How does the ref standing right next to the qb miss a hit to the head? In any event, the Rams played well, especially on 3rd down, albeit with room for improvement based on our failure to convert red zone opportunities, mediocre pass rush, and our inability to put the game away when we had a chance. Great start, and great to be 1-0, especially given the brutality of our division and the fact that philly and buffalo are up next.


                      The Good

                      Goff played well. Better than the stats because there were some tough drops. 20-31-273 with the one int which should not have counted for a rating of 79.5. One stupid intentional grounding, one run at the end where he had an open kupp down the field and got a bit too conservative. A perfect deep throw to jefferson for a 30 yard gain. John Elway could not have thrown that ball any better. Getting the ball out of his hand certainly helped him as did the solid running game. Can he do better? Sure. But give him credit, he played well.

                      The running game. 40-153 as a team and mcvay really stayed with it to the point of maybe even being too conservative and not taking shots down the field with play action. Brown is a very tough runner between the tackles 18-79 with 2 tds and 3 catches for 31 yards. Akers was ok, made some guys miss, didnt show me much of a burst He was 14-39. Henderson didnt do much.

                      Woods started strong and made a big catch at the end, winding up 6-105. Also had a nice run. Higbee was good as well (i thought he should have been targeted more often, especially on the slants) 3-40 and kupp had 4-40 and some big third down catches. Reynolds had one huge third down catch and jefferson had one big third down catch as well.

                      Sloman rallied, nothing fancy, but after missing the early 29 yarder i was really worried. He made his remaining field goals and extra points. Not really good per se, but at least not a game costing disaster.

                      Fuller had a HUGE 4th down tackle to stop a drive when they were in field goal range and could have easily tied the game. That play may have been a game saver. Brockers had a huge sack on third down to stop a drive. Floyd had a huge sack at the end. Donald also...
                      -09-13-2020, 09:10 PM
                    • general counsel
                      Rams choke seachickens 36-31; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
                      by general counsel
                      The Rams rebounded from their first loss of the year by pushing their record to 9-1 with a hard fought 36-31 victory at home over the seachickens. The Rams overcame 6 personal fouls, a total of ten penalties for over 100 yards, horrific first quarter defense (again), subpar red zone performance, 273 yards rushing by seattle, a final Russell Wilson possession with a chance to win the game for the chickens and a potentially serious knee injury to Cooper Kupp to emerge victorious. Once again, the Rams did what they had to do to win and simply found a way, despite playing far from their best football. The Rams are a very good team, you can not have a 9-1 record if that is not the case, but if the squad is going to make a serious run at the super bowl there are going to be any number of things that need to be improved on and with kansas city, chicago and philadelphia still ahead on the schedule it is going to take better football than we played today if we want a realistic chance to overcome the loss to new orleans and earn home field throughout the playoffs. The good news is that as a practical matter, the win today effectively clinches the division for the Rams who now enjoy a four game lead over seattle and have beaten the chickens twice. While McVay said that the situation with Kupp's knee "doesn't look good" lets hope that there is a chance that we can get him back later this year.

                      The Good

                      Goff had another strong game going 28-29-318 with 2 td's, no int's and a qb rating of 113. He made some terrific throws again and only had a couple of "bad" misses, one of which was to an open kupp on a play where his arm did get hit. He showed good presence dropping the ball off to gurley a few times and i loved the way he used the wide receiver screens and throws to the tight ends that so many of us have been looking for all year. He continues to improve although you would really hope he would find a way to improve in the red zone. Our problems in the red zone are certainly not all on Goff, but i think he can get better.

                      Gurley had a td in his 13th consecutive game with a strong run for about 16 yards behind great blocking from whitworth and woods. He finished with 16 carries for 120 yards and 3 catches for 40. I thought we should have pounded him even more often, especially earlier in the game before seattle started to stack the box and i didnt like the ball not being in his hands on the first down play on the last drive where we went three and out and gave wilson a chance to win the game. Another all-pro performance.

                      Aaron Donald had 2 and a half sacks today and was held 5 times or more. Super disruptive force. Suh had 1/2 a sack and 9 tackles. Littleton had 9 tackles as well and a nice pass breakup on a third down. The defense stepped up when it absolutely had to despite having another rough day. Fowler, who almost cost us the game with a horrible penalty (see below) showed...
                      -11-11-2018, 06:34 PM
                    • general counsel
                      Rams lose 45-35 to new orleans: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
                      by general counsel
                      Despite a valiant comeback to overcome a 21 point deficit and pull even in the fourth quarter, the Rams fell short today on the road against a very tough Drew Brees led new orleans team, suffering their first loss of the season by the score of 45-35 in what could prove to be a preview of the NFC championship game. The offense certainly played well enough to win, but subpar red zone play, failure to take advantage of a crucial turnover in the first half, the weekly torching of Marcus Peters, lousy 3rd down play on both sides of the ball, and most importantly a horrific first half defensively were our our undoing today. The Rams were not going undefeated in any event and this game was likely the toughest one on the entire schedule, but the Rams will fly home for a really important division battle next week against the seachickens with a bad taste in their mouth of opportunities lost to win this game. The key will be what the squad learns from this and how they bounce back next week.

                      The Good

                      Jared Goff and the offense scored 35 points and gave 483 yards, punting only once. Gurley scored a td for the 12th straight game, although new orleans did a great job of keeping him in check (65 yards rushing and 11 yards receiving). The offensive line allowed zero sacks despite 40 passing attempts by Goff. Goff was 28-40-391-3 td's and one interception for a rating of 115.7. Unfortunately, he made one of his two horrible throws of the game with the outcome on the line late in the fourth quarter when the Rams had a chance to take the lead (see below in bad section on the miss to an open Woods). Goff made several terrific throws, including a couple that were not caught, such as the perfect throw that Higbee dropped in the end zone. The long ball to cooks was terrific and the out pattern to kupp was sensational. The 4th and 2 at the end hit Cooks in the hands. Sure, he got outplayed by Brees, but there is no shame in that. To take the next step, and if realistically we want to win the superbowl or for that matter get to the super bowl, goff is going to have to play his best with the game on the line, something he has not done in the last two weeks. Great catch and run for Malcolm Brown along the sideline for the td.

                      It was nice to see the tight ends involved today (collectively 5-88 plus the two point conversion to Everett). Cooks played well with 6-114, Kupp was 5-89 with the 41 yard td catch and run and woods was very strong again with 5-71 including any number of really big catches.

                      No injuries that i saw.
                      Leg kicked a 56 yard field goal.
                      The defense recovered nicely in the 2nd half holding new orleans to 10 points. Not spectacular, but potentially good enough to win if the offense hadn't died with the game on the line.
                      Fowler showed a pulse with a couple of nice pressures and a rare hit on brees along with one tackle for loss. Can't wait for him to play more.
                      Donald had...
                      -11-04-2018, 06:00 PM
                    • general counsel
                      Rams lose to bucaneers 55-40; The Good, Bad and Ugly
                      by general counsel
                      The Rams record dropped to 3-1 today with an ugly home loss to tampa bay today by the score of 55-40. The Rams were atrocious on defense, dug themselves a 21-0 hole, could not the run ball at all, committed 13 penalties for over 100 yards, had four turnovers, no pass rush, missed at least three wide open receivers for td's, completely unable to rush the passer, horrible on third down defensively, seem unable to call plays against blitzes, generally terrible play calling in key situations, and just an abomination playing defense in the red zone, allowing tampa to score 5 td's in 6 tries. Other than that, the Rams looked great today. Sounds pretty good to score 40 points, right? But giving up 56 (even though the offense really gave up 14 or more of those points) was just embarrassing. Somehow, the Rams had a chance to tie the game in the last minute, but once again, no answer for the blitz, goff coughs it up, and suh runs it into the end zone to clinch the 55-40 loss. The Rams have not been playing well, but somehow were 3-0 on the strength of very strong defense. Today, the defense was awful and the offense was not close to good enough. Goff played about as poorly as any qb in the history of the NFL who throws for 500 yards in a game. We better get it together before going on the road thursday night against seattle. If we play like this again, we are going to get clobbered.

                      The Good

                      Some solid wide receiver play, woods 13-164, kupp 9-121 and a nice td, everett played very well with some big catches.
                      Goff made some nice throws (including the td to everett in heavy traffic), that has to be the case when you throw for 517 yards, but overall, he is going into the ugly category for this game.
                      Great INT pick six for peters, who took a massive cheap shot and had to leave the game after getting hit in the head on the td return
                      Leg hit two long fg's, including a 58 yarder
                      The Rams battled back and didnt quit, even though the hole was too deep and the four turnovers compared to only one for tampa were the killers
                      Hekker had a nice punt down inside the ten yard line
                      36 first downs and over 500 yards of offense is a start, but a lot of that is padded stats in my view. Awful in the beginning and way too many stupid mistakes especially when the defense is so bad
                      Weddle had 14 tackles, but so what given how bad the defense was.
                      Johnson returned from the injury, thank goodness he is ok

                      The Bad

                      Taylor Rapp left the game unable to walk off with an ankle injury
                      Peters did not come back after the cheap shot he took in the head
                      The miss on the 2 point conversion was bad news. Not close to a conversion
                      Unable to take advantage of so many chances, including at the end. See below on play calling.
                      Two nice td runs for gurley, constituting our entire running game for the day


                      The Ugly

                      The Rams are paying...
                      -09-29-2019, 05:36 PM
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