Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Reaction to Hawks 12-7 win

Post by Eric Williams on Sep. 9, 2013 at 1:54 am with 74 Comments »
September 9, 2013 1:57 am

Seattle Seahawks' Doug Baldwin (89) runs against the Carolina Panthers after a catch during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)
Seattle Seahawks’ Doug Baldwin (89) runs against the Carolina Panthers after a catch during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)
Good morning folks. I’m headed back to Seattle now. We’ll have our regular, Monday Morning chat at 1 p.m. today. I hope you can make it.

But for now, let’s take a look back at Seattle’s 12-7 win over Carolina on Sunday.

Check out the standings here. Seattle, San Francisco and St. Louis all stand at 1-0 on the year, with Arizona 0-1 after losing on the road against the Rams. The 49ers now travel to CenturyLink Field for a big, Sunday night tilt on national television.

The Seahawks are early, 3-point favorites over San Francisco.

Here’s my game story, focusing on the Seahawks learning from their end-of-game mistakes from last season in closing out a win over the Panthers.

Dave Boling of The News Tribune writes that Seattle got the win, and a long list of things to work on for next week.

More Boling: He highlights Jermaine Kearse’s game-winning touchdown catch.

And here’s my notebook, which focuses on Seattle’s ability to create turnovers in critical stretches of the game.

Check out a photo gallery from the game here.

Danny O’Neil of 710 ESPN Seattle writes that the Seahawks’ hard-fought win shows nothing will come easy this season.

Terry Blount of ESPN Seattle says that the Seahawks did enough good things to come away with a win.

Clare Farnsworth of writes that Russell Wilson had his struggles early, but hung in there and endured in the end.

Larry Stone of The Seattle Times writes that the Seahawks found a way to win on Sunday, which should be a good sign for what’s in store for the rest of the season.

Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times writes that Russell Wilson finished with a flourish after a slow start.

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports gives the Seahawks a B grade for their efforts against Carolina. Prisco: “Credit this one to the defense. They limited Cam Newton to 128 yards passing, which is impressive. After a slow start, Russell Wilson got it going and finished with 320 yards.”

Josh Katzowitz of CBS Sports writes that Russell Wilson is still pretty good. He gives Wilson a B-plus grade for his performance against the Panthers.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, for the first time in NFL history, the Seahawks, the Lions and the Saints won their opening games in the same season.

Referee Bill Leavy admits his crew made a mistake by giving San Francisco an extra down that led to a touchdown in the tam’s 34-28 win over Green Bay.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that the Rams found a win to get a win over visiting Arizona.

Joe Person of The Charlotte Observer says that Carolina’s loss to Seattle was very similar to a dozen losses in the past two seasons under head coach Ron Rivera.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 74
  1. UltimateHawk says:

    The officiating clown crew at the 49ers game should be sent back to Division 1. No one can blame that screw-up on replacement refs.

  2. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Kearse is making me eat crow today.

    Good win against a good defense.

  3. mquinn73 says:

    An awful lot of improvement needed for next week.

    Top of the list is the OL. Carpenter must start ahead of McQuistan. We need to get the ground game moving the chains against SF and keeping their front 7 honest otherwise RW3 will have no time to make the type of plays that he did against the Panthers.

    Secondly, our blitzing needs to be more effective. Newton was able to avoid trouble on numerous occasions and almost made us pay – Kaepernick will do the same if given the chance. Too many time yesterday, our pass-rushers failed to wrap up Newton – we will need to keep Kaepernick contained and put him to ground at every opportunity.

    We need more big-play threats from our wideouts. For long periods yesterday we struggled to get separation downfield. And even then, with the exception of Miller, we didn’t generate many YAC gains. This underlines just how good RW3 was yesterday – in particular, his placement of the ball where only our receiver could make a play on it was superb… The TD pass was the most obvious example, but there were a couple of others to Rice, Miller and Baldwin.

    The ‘niners are going to roll into town with a point to prove after last season’s whipping. I still think the key to stopping them will be to take away their ground game – easier said than done with Gore and Kaepernick providing different types of threats. Our LBs will need to bring alot more support to the DL than was evident yesterday.

    Right now, we’ll take the win in Carolina but much bigger tests await…

  4. Southendzone says:

    Yep the O Line seemed to be struggling big time.

    Have to comment on something from 2 thread back though. Someone was claiming the 2 deep balls (Williams drop and Kearse TD) weren’t well-thrown.

    I just spent 5 minutes re-watching them and disagree 100%. Williams pass hits his hands in stride, ok fine the catch would have been easier if the ball was thrown 5 inches less but come on that was a great pass.

    The Kearse pass is perfectly in stride to him as well. Just a different catch style, not lobbed over his he turns and high-points it. Kearse doesn’t have to alter his stride, just turn and leap for the ball.

    Both balls gave the receiver a great shot at the ball and gave the defender close to zero chance for the INT.

    I had a lot to complain about yesterday, but not either of those plays.

  5. MikeFromNewJersey says:

    I think on offense we have to take some shots down field to keep the defense honest. The reason we couldn’t run yesterday was because Carolina was just outnumbering are guys, they were crowding the line on us.
    If Carpenter can somehow stay healthy I think Paul MaCquistan would be a better option at RT. Breno really struggles in pass protection, very good at run blocking but terrible in pass protection.

  6. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Let’s give some credit to Carolinas defense, they’re one of the best in the NFL imo, and playing at home in the first game of the season they were pumped up.
    I’m glad we got out of there with a win.

  7. SaigonSun says:

    It was the first game of the season, people ! Carolina’s “D” is pretty good; they won’t get pushed around this year. Their offense needs work. I think Newton can be quite awesome if his heart is in it. I feel he’ll pull a “Sanchez” : get paid big in his next contract and forget what job he got paid for. Still, he can play when he wants to, or when the opponents D lets him.
    The Seahawks played great (under the circumstances): 10 AM start, away from home, the team wasn’t complete, etc. We haven’t seen yet what we have.

  8. Skavage says:

    We better be prepared along both d-line and o-line this coming week. If now SF will walk all over us. We have a TON to work on and improve this week.

  9. Skavage says:

    if *not*…

  10. It’s a W. Kearse coming through big time. Go Dawgs.

  11. montanamike2 says:

    Ugly hard fought win, a 10:00 am start on the East coast and we were down 4-5 major players. I’ll take the win. Why does SF keep getting helped to the SB from the refs?

  12. montanamike2 says:

    Next week will be a huge game!

  13. RDPoulsbo says:

    Carolina’s D is for real, especially their front 7. Anyone remember how tough they were last year? It only improved over the offseason.

    They’re going to need to fix the o-line in a hurry though. Next week will be a much tougher front 7, plus they will be facing a real running game.

    Still a good win though. Better to be taking about improving after a win than arguing about a loss.

  14. montanamike2 says:

    I was a little concerned about the lackadaisical attitude we had in the first half, almost like the 5th pre-season game. I’m sure we will bring it at home next week, this team seems to get motivated for big opponents.

  15. yankinta says:

    GeorgiaHawk, I completed agree with you. That front 7 is a TOP 5 in the NFL. I love theri DT Star L,, how I wish we could have drafted him,,, :)

    People will panic over this close win on the road with 10AM start time,, but they just don’t realize that D was Top 10 last season and will be a top 7 or top 5 D, this year…. 49ers played against an average Defense at home. I can see that Green Bay Defense slipping. Probably below average this season….

  16. FleaFlicker says:

    Kind of like all the talk last year about us “stealing” a win against GB last year. The Panthers, like the Pack, would not have been in position for a go-ahead score without some phantom penalties. Instead of 3rd and mile, deep in their own territory, a convenient “face mask” appeared from nowhere to keep that final Carolina drive going. Take away that penalty and we win that game 19-7. Regardless, a road win is a road win and that’s what matters. Go Hawks!

  17. pabuwal says:

    I think yesterday’s win was tremendous. The Seahawks played a high-end defense, in an early game in extremely hot and humid conditions. They played a QB who threw for the most yards in his first 2 years in NFL History (averaging 250 passing yards per game) and completely shut him down. The Defense certainly played up to it’s reputation, unlike last year.

    The Seahawks Offense wasn’t efficient in the red zone, but moved the ball very well (370 yards offense). The lack of red zone efficiency was the only issue I saw yesterday. I think that will get better as the offense gets more time with each other.

    As far as next week, Kapernick is still the same one read and run QB he has been. Sometimes he would look one way and quickly jerk his head back to the player he intended to target all along. Don’t be fooled – he had only one read there as well. That won’t work in Seattle. Boldin is the perfect matchup for the Seahawks big and physical CBs. It’s the small shifty guys which are the concern. I’d be surprised if he has more than 50 yards next week.

    Historically, the Seahawks would have lost yesterday’s game. Even the Super Bowl team lost both of those games they played in 2005. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Carolina contend for the NFC South Crown.

  18. FleaFlicker says:

    And let’s also give Carolina some credit. They are a good team. First two draft picks were D-line to go along with a monster LB named Kuechly. Going to be hard to run against that much talent, especially this early in the season before the O-line is in its groove. Go Hawks!

  19. montanamike2 says:

    I’m not happy with all the game changing calls that help decide a win.
    It seemed last year that we had to win a few games twice for a win.
    Willson didn’t last long after his initial false start, he has to get that better.

  20. “Next week will be a much tougher front 7″

    I disagree. Carolina has a defense on the way up, while SF has a defense on the way down. Kuechly is quickly becoming one of the best in the game, and I might even take him over Willis/Bowman at this point. And Lotulelei definitely belongs in this league.

    SF will certainly be a test, and their front 7 might be slightly better, but I would not say “much tougher.”

  21. yankinta says:

    OrrObb, agree. That 49ers D need Justin Smith healthy to become a top 10 front seven in the league. We’ll find out if he’s really healthy next week.

  22. The Hawks won because they played football for 60 minutes. Simple as that

  23. FleaFlicker says:

    Cam Newton has started 33 NFL games. His two lowest yardage passing games both came against the Hawks. Yesterday was his career low. No complaints here. .

  24. Carolina’s D linemen did a great job of fuddling the Seahawk’s zone blocking. That was the toughest part of the game to watch. So much of our success is the line play and running game. It did begin to come through in the 4th quarter, showing that the team remains committed to this.

    Next week’s home opener will have to feature stronger O line play if we are going to win. I’m trusting that will happen, asTom Cable’s line has started slowly every season and gained strength as they go. Even though our line was out of synch, they are much better than early last year. James Carpenter needs to get back in shape quickly, and get his feet in synch with his line mates, and Cable needs to quickly figure out which five are his best five to keep on the field for the next 15 games.

    The last time we played the Niners (42-13 win) they came to the Clink exhausted and injured and did not have RDE Justin Smith. This time they will be fresh and ready.

  25. FleaFlicker – great stat there.

  26. yankinta says:

    After looking into why 11th Ranked Defense from Last year played SOO bad against 49ers, I found out that Green Bay was missing its Top corner Casey Hayward and starting Safey Morgan Burnett last night. I guess that explains why they gave up 400 yards to First-Read-only CK and over 200 yards to All-Hands-No-Speed Anquan Boldin last night…..

    Our Secondary is the Deepest in the NFL and my worry meter is down after finding out these facts. I predict Hawks will win 33 – 14 against the 49ers next week.

  27. RDPoulsbo says:

    Not trying to take away from Carolina’s front 7, but they are far less experienced than SF. They’re very good, but not elite.

    One good thing about the botched call against the Packers yesterday is their fans have moved on to the latest outrage and giving up on the Tate touchdown.

  28. tylerwyler says:

    Southernendzone – I watched the game again after similarly reading the blog yesterday, and also had an eye on RW’s two bombs. I agree wholeheartedly. They were both right on the money. On one slow motion replay, it looks as if Kearse slowed by about 10 percent, but at full speed, it looks like he catches it perfectly in stride. He certainly didn’t have to shuffle his feet or come to a stop. Also, in case anyone failed to notice, it was a freakin’ TD! It got the job done.

    People on this blog complain about the damnedest things. Quite frankly, it just seems like attention grabbing behavior. We all know what the reality is as fans – no matter how talented our team is, the odds are stacked against your team winning the championship any given year. Perhaps people want to jump on our every little flaw (because every team in the salary cap era has them) so that they can be first to say “I told you so” when the most likely scenario (not winning the Super Bowl) plays out.

    I heard a guy at the bar yesterday say “Don’t hate, congratulate!” Hear hear.

  29. yankinta says:

    RDPoulsbo, I agree that Carolina’s front 7 is less experienced but I think they will be better than 49ers front 7 by mid or late season. They’re young and the future is bright for them, unlike old and totally reliant on Justin Smith (49er’s front 7). I can’t tell you how much I love their new DT, 14th overall pick. That dude is a Real Stud. I think they will have a chance to make it to the playoff with that Defense.

  30. yankinta says:

    btw, that Bill Leavy, is that the same ref that gave our SB Trophy to the Steelers in 2005?? smh…

  31. rramstad says:

    I agree with some other posters that Carolina’s D is young, hungry and has the potential to be better than the 49ers D soon, if not already. The 49ers have some old old players, which on defense can easily become a liability.

    I had a very different takeaway from the Green Bay vs 49ers game. My feeling was that since both teams were able to score at will against the other that it was pretty clear that our defense will be the key in this game… and our strengths on defense match up very well against what the 49ers did i.e. we should be able to shut pocket passers down, like we did against Cam Newton. 49ers are a two receiver team (Davis, Boldin) just like the Panthers… and the Packers had good success against the 49ers passing.

    I would have been much more worried if the 49ers had been able to shut down the Packers offense, and if the 49ers had been able to run the ball effectively against the Packers defense. They didn’t do either.

  32. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I’ve done my share of complaining around here, however the Seahawks are making it very difficult for me to do that anymore.
    I could only imagine and/or hope a few years ago that they would become (overall) this good so fast.
    We just can’t have elite everything on this team, ( with the cap ) but we are about as close as one team can get to doing so imo.

    And how about our special teams play? Ryan saved us a couple of times.

    And Wilsons 75% pass completions after starting out the way he did.

    He had a couple ones to Baldwin that had no business being completed but some how they made it happen.

    And you won’t hear me complaining about Kearse anymore, because my mouth is too full of Crow.

  33. freedom_X says:

    It’s possible opposing teams are reacting to the read-option by just selling out against the run. I don’t think Carolina even cared about the possibility of play-action. Linebackers were moving aggressively against the run and not worrying about pass coverage.

    Once Seattle recognized this, Seattle started throwing more. It’s also what San Francisco did against Green Bay yesterday. It will be interesting to watch what Philadelphia does against the Redskins.

  34. tealskin says:

    Carolina’s D is good but their O-line was not. Plus it got thinner during the game. Still there was little pressure on Cam. Hopefully having some players back for SF game will change the dynamic. If Kaepernick has time he will pick us apart, regardless of his limitations(?). Did Boldin really look that slow yesterday? The guy is crafty, strong, and mentally tough. Bet Ravens wish they had him back. John got snookered by Jim.

  35. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I don’t know how John got snookered by Jim with the way Boldin played down the stretch and in the playoffs last year. I was shaking my head in disbelief when I heard about Johns gift to Jim.

  36. freedom_X says:

    I didn’t watch the SF/GB game closely. But if Boldin was bailing out Kaepernick with great catches – then Seattle’s far superior DB’s will minimize that. Boldin uses size and strength to make his plays, not speed and agility. Seattle’s secondary matches right up against that – nobody has better corners to defend against a player like that.

  37. OregonHawk says:

    I was under the impression that the Raven’s were trying to dump $, was that not the reason for the trade?

  38. tealskin says:

    Think Jim took advantage of the family connection. Did John even look at any other offers? You basically give a very good receiver to the team you barely beat in the super bowl. Sounds kind of deranged to me.

  39. tealskin says:

    Oregon, you’re right. They thought Boldin was too expensive and they needed to gut their team to sign Flacco. Not questioning the decision, just that they sold him so cheap to his brother.

  40. montanamike2 says:

    I was always saying that there’s something fishy about that trade, definitely family gift. After Ed Reed and the rest left, Ray Lewis retiring, there was still money left to keep you’re best receiver. Especially right after winning a Superbowl.

  41. banosser says:

    Boldin wasn’t covered for the most part

  42. GeorgiaHawk says:

    freedom_X – Remember what Brandon Marshall did to Sherman and BB last year?
    Boldin is just as physical and good as Marshall.

    I don’t know what I’m more upset with-
    A- The 49ers getting a gift from brother John, or
    B- The 49ers getting a gift from Seattle’s practice squad that got beat out by a one dimensional WR (in pre season) that couldn’t make good with his one dimension in a game that counts.

  43. GeorgiaHawk says:

    BTW- Baldwins back!!!

  44. tealskin says:

    Banosser, That raises a question. If a receiver ends up getting 200 yds and you haven’t covered him, is that due to bad defense, good route running, or both? Maybe Hawks’ secondary can snuff him, but the dude has been money since he started in the league. Am looking forward to the match-up and the strategizing.

  45. SandpointHawk says:

    Klm thanks for the link….

  46. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Bill Barnwell from Grantland-

    “The Panthers defense was impressive at times last year and then again during the preseason, with Luke Kuechly noticeably featuring as a superstar-caliber player. Against the Seahawks, he wasn’t the only one. Carolina’s front seven overwhelmed Seattle, shutting down its running game while forcing Russell Wilson to fight for every throwing lane and scrambling opportunity imaginable. Given the quality of the opposition, it might have been the best defensive performance by any front seven all day.”

  47. tealskin says:

    Georgia, The return of Baldwin was quite spectacular. Not ready to throw Williams under the bus because of one difficult near-reception. Did Harper even play for SF yesterday?

  48. Why ever draft a receiver when you can turn UFAs like Baldwin and Kearse into studs?

  49. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I may be wrong about Williams but Harper has some tools similar to Boldin and now he has a great mentor to guide him along.

    Again I don’t expect much out of Harper this year because he is a 4th round rookie WR, ( What did Tate do his rookie year?) however I think the FO will be kicking themselves down the road.

  50. GeorgiaHawk says:

    OrrObb- Very good point!

  51. yankinta says:

    GeorgiaHawk, I’m not that worried about future WR’s for the Seahawks…. We’ll have top 5 WR’s group when PH comes back…. I’m more worried about our Interior D-Line and O-Line. We need to see what they can do when they’re healthy on our D-Line. I think if our interior O-line does not improve this season, we’ll see us drafting high for Guards this 2014 draft….

  52. Can’t draft too high when you have the 32nd pick!

  53. Would you have traded our 4th round pick (Harper) for Boldin now? Amazing that SF got both. And for them to get Boldin the same day we got Harvin! For $50M less, a lot less in draft picks and 200 yds receiving in the season opener? When was the last time a Hawk had 200 yds receiving (ever?)?

    Oh well. Percy needs to get healthy and show us what exactly he can do. I seriously doubt he’ll ever have a 200 yd receiving game, but I hope I’m wrong.

    I hate the Niners!

    GO HAWKS!!

  54. CDHawkFan says:

    Just watch the game again, outside of the obvious playmakers, both Ryan and Hauschka had a great game, more so to Ryan. I thought Bennett played well. The stinker award goes to Carp, he looked lost, needed help often and just whiffed many times. I would think he would be embarrassed watching the film. Also Mayowa lost at least 2 sacks, not diving arm tackles, but he had his arms around Cam both times. Red looked better at the 3. I liked what Coleman did catching the ball, not sure about the blocking as I was mostly looking at the guards.

    Kam and Earl will have to used as much as possible next week in run support as Carolina was able to run with not the greatest of O-lines. Same big problem as last year and not sure Avril, Clemons, or Irvin are going to help the run D.

  55. tealskin says:

    Guards are not usually that highly drafted are they? Would think they could find some good ones in the early rounds.

  56. yankinta says:

    joreb, that Green Bay Secondary was missing half its starters including their best CB Casey Heyward. Boldin would not have another big day like that again,, not against NFC West Defense….

    PH is wayy better than Boldin,,, c’mon… it’s not about the yard total… it’s about the quality of the yards he can get for us during tough situations….

  57. tealskin says:

    Joreb, Somehow I don’t think John would have traded Boldin to Hawks for a 4th round pick.

  58. Southendzone says:

    Ozzie Newsome is the GM over in Baltimore, not Harbaugh. Newsome is known as a top-notch GM. I don’t see him going along with the idea of a gift to the 49er’s based on family connection.

    That premise implies that either there were other offers better than 6th rounder in play for Boldin, or the whole thing was done w/o Boldin being shopped to other teams.

    That’s a pretty good conspiracy theory, but I’m not buying it.

  59. yankinta says:

    I agree. I don’t think there’s foul play. Ozzie Newsome is old school and his old school way of thinking maybe getting outdated. He is not a top 5 GM any longer. But ESPN will still tell you that he is. I don’t buy it.

  60. tealskin says:

    Southend, So its not possible that Ozzie did it as a favor to John? Maybe other offers were only slightly better. Just speculating but I can’t believe that no other team was interested after the career Boldin has had. A SF 6th round is eqiv. to a Jax 7th round. Just find that scenario difficult to accept. I know they all value draft picks but we end up cutting 1st, 3rd, 4th, rounders. Guess I see more value in Boldin than some others.

  61. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Are you kidding me?

    Just look at what boldin did down the stretch and into the playoffs last year.
    Baltimore doesn’t win a SuperBowl without him.

    Then suddenly he is worth only a 6 round pick? LMAO.

    Does anyone really think the Ravens could only get a 6th round pick for Boldin? Really? I’m not buying it!

  62. yankinta says:

    GeorgiaHawk, Boldin is like 88 years old and getting paid $6 Mil a year, his final year of the contract,,…. Of course he’s only worth a 6th round pick….

  63. FleaFlicker says:


    To echo one of your earlier comments: Special Teams was indeed special. Hauschka was kicking to the crossbar, J Ryan was freaking unloading in the punt game, and our ST guys did a great job of channeling Carolina gunners into the sideline (and drawing the 15yd penalty). We did not put on a crazy offensive day, but we totally shut down the Panthers in all other aspects. Go Hawks!

  64. SaigonSun says:

    Carolina’s rookir Star Lotulelei played well. I wish we could have gotten him instead of Harvin. Anyway, did our own “mini” Lotulelei play at all,or he was inactive?

  65. freedom_X says:

    If there was some sort of family deal happening (which would only make sense if both Harbaughs *owned* the team, not coached it) – the NFL front office would kill it.

    The Ravens were crushed up against the salary cap, remember? (had to pay the elite QB Flacco.) They had to move salary. If the conspiracy theory holds up, you have to find someone else who would have given more than a 6th round pick back then for Boldin. Any takers?

    I don’t think Boldin is in the same class as Marshall. That doesn’t mean I think Boldin is incapable. He has been and still can be a top-notch player. But I don’t think he’s finishing the season with 160 catches for 3,200 yards.

    Marshall has at this stage in their careers, quite a bit more speed and agility. He’s also even taller and heavier than Boldin. Marshall is more likely to be able to get open as opposed to wrestling the ball away from a smaller CB (though Marshall can do that too.) Boldin is too good to be shut out, but if Seattle’s DB’s can’t be effective against him, especially at home, no one can be and Boldin is All-Pro.

  66. Harper was inactive for SF yesterday

    ESPN voted the TD pass the Kearse as the best pass of the day!

  67. yankinta says:

    LVHawk,, do you have the link for that?? :)

  68. yankinta – sorry, I was just watching ESPN and the announcers were going threw the best plays of the day. Couldn’t find a link. I think it was the show with Tony Dungy but I may be wrong.

  69. bbnate420 says:

    “Boldin is just as physical and good as Marshall.”

    Ummmmmmm, no. He may be as physical. In other news, I just spotted Big Foot.

    “Carolina’s rookir Star Lotulelei played well. I wish we could have gotten him instead of Harvin. Anyway, did our own “mini” Lotulelei play at all,or he was inactive?”

    Star was long gone by the 25th pick, so one has absolutely nothing to do with the other.

  70. GeorgiaHawk says:

    bbnate420- You obviously missed the playoffs last year. Lol.

  71. Georgia, he was great in the playoffs, no doubt. He was as good as Marshall for those 4 games.

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