Archive for September, 2009

Matt Ryan brand expanding

September 29th, 2009 1 comment

Not quite Peyton Manning yet, but it’s a nice start. Starts off with some behind the scenes video, and the final 30 second spot finishes it off.

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Patriots take Falcons down a notch

September 27th, 2009 Comments off
Getty Images/J.Rogash

Getty Images/J.Rogash

The Falcons were handed their first loss of the year by the New England Patriots with a 26-10 defeat in their first road game of the season. For the most part the Falcons were neither spectacular on either side of the ball. They kept it close for the first half, but could not get things rolling in the second half.

Matt Ryan led the team completing 17 of 28 passes for 199 yards. Michael Turner had 56 yards on the ground on 15 carries with a touchdown, but had a costly second quarter fumble. Michael Jenkins led receivers with 5 catches for 78 yards. Roddy White added 4 catches for 24 yards and Jason Snelling had 3 for 41 yards. Tony Gonzalez was limited to 1 catch for 16 yards, which he did not make until the open minutes of the fourth quarter. Turner’s fumble came with four minutes remaining in the first half, just after the Falcons had made a stop on the Patriots offense and were driving into Patriots territory. The Pats subsequently got the ball back and drove down the field to get a last minute field goal to go into the half with a  13-10 lead. Starting the second half, the Patriots scored on another field goal. Then the Falcons were able to take the lead but an offensive pass interference negated a 36-yard Michael Jenkins touchdown catch, which then forced them to punt a few plays later. The Patriots then drove down the field to get another field goal giving them a 19-10 lead and they never looked back. The Falcons offense did not convert a third down in the second half, having converted 2 of 5 in the first half, and even converting a fourth down as well.

Defensively, the Falcons gave up a lot of yards, including 277 in the air and 168 on the ground, but were able to hold the Patriots several times in the redzone. The Patriots only scored a touchdown once in their four trips inside the red zone, settling for three field goals. Curtis Lofton led defenders with 19 tackles, by far a carer high. Kroy Biermann (6 tackles), Erik Coleman (9 tackles), Chauncey Davis (5 tackles), Thomas DeCoud (5 tackles, 1 pass defended), Chris Houston (6 tackles), Trey Lewis (6 tackles), Stephen Nicholas (7 tackles), Mike Peterson (11 tackles, 2 for loss), and Brian Williams (8 tackles, 1 pass defended) had noteworthy games. The Falcons were unable to force a turnover for the first time this season, and were unable to provide significant pressure to Tom Brady as they did not record a single sack.

Jason Elam hit his lone field goal attempt of 26 yards. Michael Koenen had 5 punts for an average of 38.8 yards with 1 placed inside the 20-yard line. Eric Weems had 5 kickoff returns for an average of 27.8 yards. Weems also added two stops on special teams.

The Falcons will hope to regroup with an upcoming bye week, allowing some of their players to get healthy. They will again go on the road following the bye to take on the San Francisco 49ers, who are off to a surprising 2-1 start this season.

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Moneyball – Week 2 Review

September 23rd, 2009 Comments off

I’m new to the whole Game Rewind thing on, so maybe I’m confused. But last week’s game vs. the Dolphins was presented sans commercials. This week’s vs. the Panthers was not and for whatever reason the last 1:54 of the game was cut off. Perhaps that issue will be resolved at a later date, but until then, this review is technically incomplete. Had I realized that this would happen, I would have taped the game, but oh well. If they do finally decide to show the final two minutes of the game online, then I’ll update this when that happens. I don’t think I really missed anything. Maybe a player here or there managed to earn an extra dollar probably due to playing time, but I don’t think it’ll make a huge difference for the most part.

Also I realized that I had made some mistakes on last week’s scoring, so I made the appropriate changes. The scores aren’t cumulative, and it’s not exactly hard math to add them up. In Week 4, I’ll post the cumulative earnings for those people too lazy to do the math themselves.

Here is the offense, which was better vs. the Panthers. The offensive line played much better.

QB Matt Ryan$15$2$0$0$0$0$2$19.00
RB Michael Turner$0$14$0$0-$2$0$2$14.00
RB Jason Snelling$0$4$2$0$0$0$1$7.00
TE Tony Gonzalez$0$0$7-$2-$1$0$2$6.00
WR Roddy White$0$0$2$2$0$0$2$6.00
OT Tyson Clabo$0$0$0$3$0$0$2$5.00
OC Todd McClure$0$0$0$3$0$0$2$5.00
WR Marty Booker$0$0$3$0$0$0$1$4.00
OG Harvey Dahl$0$0$0$4-$2$0$2$4.00
OT Sam Baker$0$0$0$2$0$0$2$4.00
FB Ovie Mughelli$0$0$0$2$0$0$2$4.00
RB Jerious Norwood$0$1$0$0$0$1$1$3.00
WR Michael Jenkins$0$0$1$0$0$0$2$3.00
OG Justin Blalock$0$0$0$2-$1$0$2$3.00
WR Brian Finneran$0$0$1$0$0$0$1$2.00
WR Eric Weems$0$0$0$0$0$1$1$2.00
OT Wlll Svitek$0$0$0$0$0$0$1$1.00
TE Keith Zinger$0$0$0$0$0$0$1$1.00
TE Justin Peelle$0$0-$1$0$0$0$2$1.00

Now onto the defense, which was still pretty good, but there were more mistakes all around. While there was only one less pressure vs. Carolina as there was vs. Miami, the defensive line did not nearly have as dominating a performance as they did a week ago.

P Michael Koenen$0$0$6$1$7.00
LB Mike Peterson$4.5$0$0$2$6.50
S Thomas DeCoud$3.5$0$0$2$5.50
LB Stephen Nicholas$3$0$0$2$5.00
DE Kroy Biermann$3-$1$0$2$4.00
DE John Abraham$2$0$0$2$4.00
DT Jonathan Babineaux$1$0$0$2$3.00
S Erik Coleman$0.5$0$0$2$2.50
DE Chauncey Davis$0$0$0$2$2.00
LB Curtis Lofton-$0.5$0$0$2$1.50
WR Brian Finneran$1$0$0$0$1.00
CB Chris Houston-$1$0$0$2$1.00
CB Brian Williams-$2$0$1$2$1.00
DE Jamaal Anderson$0$0$0$1$1.00
DT Peria Jerry$0$0$0$1$1.00
DE Lawrence Sidbury$0$0$0$1$1.00
LB Coy Wire$0$0$0$1$1.00
LB Tony Gilbert$0$0$0$1$1.00
CB Brent Grimes$0$0$0$1$1.00
CB Chris Owens$0$0$0$1$1.00
CB Chevis Jackson$0$0$0$1$1.00
S Antoine Harris$0$0$0$1$1.00
DT Thomas Johnson$0-$1$0$1$0.00

Noteworthy Stats from Week 2:

Dropped Passes (3): Jenkins, Peelle, White
Poor Throws (2): Ryan
QB Pressures Allowed (2): Dahl (1.5), Clabo (0.5)
Missed Blocks (5): Blalock (2), Gonzalez (2), Clabo (1)
QB Pressures (8): Abraham (2), Biermann (2), DeCoud (1), Lofton (1), Nicholas (1)
Missed Tackles (5): DeCoud (2), Lofton (1), Peterson (1), Williams (1)

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Jerry done for year

September 21st, 2009 Comments off
Peria Jerry injured

Peria Jerry injured

The team announced today that they have placed first round pick Peria Jerry on injured reserve, ending his season. Jerry was carried off the field on Sunday after injuring his left knee. The team signed seventh round pick Vance Walker off the practice squad to help fill depth at defensive tackle.

Jerry had started the first two games of the season and recorded one tackle in his debut against the Dolphins. Injuries aren’t new with Jerry, who was plagued with injuries during his time at Ole Miss. He also suffered a knee injury during minicamp this summer and was limited at times leading up to the season.

The Falcons will likely also call upon Trey Lewis to help fill the void, who was inactive for the first two games of the season. Thomas Johnson, who has been working in rotation with both Jerry and fellow starter Jonathan Babineaux, likely could fill in as the starter.

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Moneyball – Week 1 Review

September 21st, 2009 Comments off

We’ve got a new system of reviewing games that we’re going to call Moneyball. This space isn’t quite big enough to explain the scoring system, so we’ve posted it fully on the forums, which you can see by clicking here.

Basically we’ll review games and based off our scoring system, the guys that are contributing the most will earn the most money.  The scoring system isn’t perfect, as QBs, RBs, WRs, and D-linemen will usually score higher than the O-linemen, LBs, DBs, and specialists, but it’s the best we can do without melting our brains.

Each week, we’ll try to get the game reviewed and the “earnings” posted. And we’ll probably actually post the actual stats accumulated at each quarterly point in the season.

First, here’s the offense:

QB Matt Ryan$14$0$0$0$0$0$2$16.00
RB Michael Turner$0$9$0$0$0$0$2$11.00
TE Tony Gonzalez$0$0$7-$2$0$0$2$7.00
RB Jerious Norwood$0$1$5$0$0$0$1$7.00
FB Ovie Mughelli$0$1$5$0$0$0$1$7.00
WR Michael Jenkins$0$0$4$0$0$0$2$6.00
WR Roddy White$0$0$2$2-$1$0$2$5.00
TE Justin Peelle$0$0$0$2$0$0$2$4.00
WR Brian Finneran$0$0$0$1$0$1$1$3.00
OG Justin Blalock$0$0$0$1-$1$0$2$2.00
OC Todd McClure$0$0$0$1-$1$0$2$2.00
RB Jason Snelling$0$0$1$0$0$0$1$2.00
WR Eric Weems$0$0$0$0$0$0.50$1$1.50
WR Marty Booker$0$0$0$0$0$0$1$1.00
OT Quinn Ojinnaka$0$0$0$0$0$0$1$1.00
TE Keith Zinger$0$0$0$0$0$0$1$1.00
OT Tyson Clabo$0$0$0$0-$1$0$2$1.00
OT Sam Baker$0$0$0-$2$0$0$2$0.00
OG Harvey Dahl$0$0$0-$2$0$0$2$0.00

Now, on to the defense and special teams:

DE Kroy Biermann$7$0$1$2$10.00
LB Mike Peterson$5$0$0$2$7.00
DT Jonathan Babineaux$4.50$0$0$2$6.50
DE John Abraham$6-$2$0$2$6.00
DE Jamaal Anderson$3$0$0$2$5.00
DT Peria Jerry$2$0$0$2$4.00
DT Thomas Johnson$2$0$0$2$4.00
LB Curtis Lofton$1.50$0$0$2$3.50
LB Stephen Nicholas$2$0$0$1$3.00
DE Chauncey Davis$2$0$0$1$3.00
S Thomas DeCoud$0$0$0$2$2.00
CB Chris Owens$0$0$1$1$2.00
S Antoine Harris$0$0$0.50$1$1.50
CB Chris Houston-$1$0$0$2$1.00
CB Brian Williams-$1$0$0$2$1.00
DE Lawrence Sidbury$0$0$0$1$1.00
LB Tony Gilbert$0$0$0$1$1.00
LB Coy Wire$0$0$0$1$1.00
K Jason Elam$0$0$0$1$1.00
P Michael Koenen$0$0$0$1$1.00
LS Mike Schneck$0$0$0$1$1.00
CB Brent Grimes-$2$0$0$2$0.00
S Erik Coleman-$3$0$0$2-$1.00

Noteworthy Stats from Week 1:

Dropped Passes (1): Gonzalez
Poor Throws (6): Ryan
Sacks Allowed (2): Dahl (1), Baker (1)
QB Pressures Allowed (4): Blalock (1.5), McClure (1.5), Clabo (0.5), Dahl (0.5), Baker (0)
Missed Blocks (8): Baker (2), Gonzalez (2), Clabo (1), Dahl (1), Norwood (1), Peelle (1)
QB Pressures (9): Abraham (2), Anderson (2), Biermann (2), Babineaux (1), Jerry (1), Johnson (1)
Missed Tackles (1): Grimes

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Houston a hero in win over Panthers

September 20th, 2009 Comments off
Getty Images/K.C. Cox

Getty Images/K.C. Cox

The Falcons get their second win of the season over divisional rival Carolina Panthers 28-20. And they looked good doing it as they dawned the 1966 throwback uniforms for the game. The Falcons controlled the game for most of it, but it came down to the wire as the Panthers had a shot with a last second hail mary to tie it.

Matt Ryan led the way with his first career 3-touchdown performance. He completed 21 of 27 passes for 220 yards and an interception. On the ground, Michael Turner rebounded with a good performance rushing for 105 yards on 28 carries and a touchdown. Jason Snelling had 6 carries for 37 yards, subbing in for an injured Jerious Norwood for most of the game. Tony Gonzalez led receivers with 7 catches for 71 yards and his second-straight scoring week. Roddy White also added a touchdown, and caught 6 passes for 53 yards. Michael Jenkins had 3 grabs for 33 yards. Snelling caught Ryan’s other touchdown pass, on his only reception of the day for 10 yards.

Defensively, the Falcons gave up some yards, but were able to make some key stops at times. They gave up 308 yards in the air and 144 on the ground. Mike Peterson and Erik Coleman tied for the lead with 9 tackles each. Both players also each were credited with a forced fumble. John Abraham (3 tackles), Jonathan Babineaux (2 tackles), Thomas DeCoud (5 tackles, 1 fumble recovery), Chris Houston (5 tackles, 1 interception), Curtis Lofton (8 tackles), and Stephen Nicholas (6 tackles, 1 sack) had noteworthy games as well. Houston’s interception helped seal the victory with less than 3 minutes remaining in the game as the Panthers were driving. Houston picked it off at their own four yard line. The Falcons were able to bleed off more time, but the Panthers would have one more shot with 30 seconds left in the game at their own 26 after a Falcons punt. Delhomme would move the Panthers 31 yards on four plays, setting up a 43-yard hail mary that was tipped by Brent Grimes and Brian Finneran and hit the turf just short of Dwayne Jarrett’s reach to end the game.

Jason Elam had no field goal attempts. Michael Koenen had 3 punts for an average of 49.7 yards, with 1 placed inside the 20-yard line. Eric Weems had 2 kickoff returns for an average of 31.5 yards, while Norwood also had a 39-yard kickoff return. The team also got a blocked punt by Brian Williams in the first quarter, which set up the team’s first touchdown to Gonzalez.

The Falcons will try to keep their winning streak alive next week on the road facing off against the perennial powerhouse New England Patriots (1-1). The Falcons last faced the Patriots in a tight loss back in 2005. Starting with that victory, the Patriots have won 15 straight against NFC opponents in the regular season. The Falcons have lost their last two against the Patriots, but won four straight prior to that dating back to 1989.

Watch Houston’s game-winning interception at

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Defense takes down Dolphins

September 13th, 2009 Comments off
AP/John Bazemore

AP/John Bazemore

The Falcons defense had a strong performance in a 19-7 win over the Miami Dolphins for a season-opening win at home. The defense was the team’s saving grace as there were some issues early on both offense and special teams.

Matt Ryan led the way with 229 yards passing on 22 of 36 completions with 2 touchdown strikes. Michael Turner had a tough day, but managed 65 yards on 22 carries. Tony Gonzalez, Jerious Norwood, and Roddy White each had 5 receptions for 73, 49, and 42 yards respectively. Gonzalez also scored a touchdown. Michael Jenkins had 4 catches for 41 yards, and Ovie Mughelli had 2 catches, 22 yards, and a score.

Defensively, they held the Dolphins scoreless until four minutes left in the game. They forced 4 turnovers and got to Chad Pennington 4 times. Curtis Lofton led defenders with 11 stops, and had a forced fumble. Mike Peterson had 7 tackles, 1 interception, and a forced fumble as well. Other noteworthy performances came from John Abraham (3 tackles, 2 sacks), Jonathan Babineaux (2 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries), Kroy Biermann (3 tackles, 2 sacks), Brent Grimes (3 tackles), Stephen Nicholas (6 tackles), and Brian Williams (4 tackles, 1 fumble recovery).

On special teams, Jason Elam had a rough outing, missing 2 of his 4 field goal attempts. He connected on attempts of 36 and 50 yards, but missed 42 and 38-yarders. He also missed an extra point. Michael Koenen averaged 38.8 yards on 4 punts, placing 1 inside the 20-yard line. Eric Weems had a kickoff return for 14 yards and averaged 10.3 yards on 3 punt returns.

The Falcons will face off next week against their divisional rival Carolina Panthers (0-1) at home. They won their last home matchup against the Panthers last season, but previously had lost their previous three home games. Overall, the Falcons have split their last six matchups against the Panthers, but are 15-7 going back to 1998 against the Panthers.

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2009 Falcons Predictions

September 10th, 2009 Comments off

Here are my Falcons-centric predictions:

1. vs. Dolphins - W
2. vs. Panthers - L
3. at Patriots - L
4. bye
5. at 49ers - W
6. vs. Bears - L
7. at Cowboys - L
8. at Saints - W
9. vs. Redskins - W
10. at Panthers - W
11. at Giants - L
12. vs. Bucs - W
13. vs. Eagles - L
14. vs. Saints - L
15. at Jets - W
16. vs. Bills - W
17. at Bucs - W

Stat Leaders:

Passing: Matt Ryan (3,533 yards)
Rushing: Michael Turner (1,317 yards)
Receiving: Roddy White (1,244 yards)
Scoring: Michael Turner (12 TDs)
Tackles: Curtis Lofton (118)
Sacks: John Abraham (11.0)
Interceptions: Erik Coleman (3)


Scoring Offense: 4th
Total Offense: 4th
Scoring Defense: 15th
Total Defense: 26th


QB Matt Ryan – He’ll be an alternate behind Brees, Cutler, and Rodgers, but will play in the game because Cutler will be a scratch.
RB Michael Turner – Along with Adrian Peterson, he’ll back up Forte in Honolulu.
WR Roddy White – Another Pro Bowl bid for Roddy along with Steve Smith, Fitz, and Greg Jennings.
TE Tony Gonzalez – He’ll get in ahead of Greg Olsen to back up Jason Witten in the game.


1. Peria Jerry – He will finish second on the team with 4.5 sacks and start 13 games.
2. William Moore – He’ll log at least 6 starts by year’s end and finish with 82 tackles and an interception.
3. Chris Owens – He’ll contribute in both the nickel and on special teams, have a single interception with about 20 tackles on defense.
4. Lawrence Sidbury – He’ll contribute off the bench as a pass rush specialist and log 2 sacks.
5a. William Middleton – He’ll make some early appearances on special teams for the Bucs, but will finish the year on their practice squad.
5b. Garrett Reynolds – He’ll be active for a handful of games, but won’t get much playing time.
6. Spencer Adkins – He’ll log a handful of tackles on special teams, but play sparingly on defense.
7. Vance Walker – He’ll get called up to the active roster for a few weeks in the second half of the season due to injuries and will have 4 tackles by year’s end.


1. The Falcons offensive line will give up 29 sacks this year. Four of them will be on backup QB Chris Redman.
2. Tony Gonzalez will catch 71 passes for 838 yards and 8 touchdowns.
3. Mike Peterson will finish second on the team with 88 tackles.
4. Jerious Norwood will see his workload on offense increase. He’ll only catch 29 passes, but will have a career high 118 rushing attempts. That will be 16 more offensive touches, an average of one more per game.
5. Jonathan Babineaux will only have 3.5 sacks this year, but he’ll once again finish near the top of the league with 9 tackles for loss.
6. Jamaal Anderson will show minor improvement this year, and notch 2.5 sacks, although that production will matched by Kroy Biermann and surpassed by Chauncey Davis (3 sacks). Anderson will only wind up with 8 starts this year.
7. Brent Grimes will be the early leader in passes defended on the team, but due to some bad outings against the Cowboys, Saints, and Redskins in respective weeks will ultimately lose his starting job to Brian Williams by Week 10.
8. Eric Weems will be so good on punt returns early in the year, that the team will eventually replace Norwood on kickoffs to get him more touches, which will ultimately lead to Norwood’s increased workload on offense.

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2009 NFL Predictions

September 10th, 2009 Comments off

Here are my predictions for the upcoming season.

Patriots (14-2)*
Jets (8-8)*
Dolphins (8-8)
Bills (4-12)
Cowboys (10-6)*
Eagles (9-7)
Giants (9-7)
Redskins (6-10)
Steelers (12-4)*
Ravens (11-5)*
Bengals (6-10)
Browns (5-11)
Bears (13-3)*
Vikings (10-6)*
Packers (10-6)*
Lions (4-12)
Colts (10-6)*
Titans (8-8)
Texans (7-9)
Jaguars (7-9)
Panthers (10-6)*
Falcons (9-7)
Saints (9-7)
Buccaneers (5-11)
Chargers (11-5)*
Chiefs (6-10)
Broncos (5-11)
Raiders (3-13)
Cardinals (10-6)*
Seahawks (8-8)
49ers (5-11)
Rams (4-12)
Wildcard Round

Chargers beat Jets
Ravens beat Colts
Wildcard Round

Panthers beat Packers
Vikings beat Cowboys
Divisional Round

Patriots beat Ravens
Steelers beat Chargers
Divisional Round

Bears beat Vikings
Panthers beat Cardinals
Conference Championship

Steelers beat Patriots
Conference Championship

Bears beat Panthers

Super Bowl XLIV
Steelers beat Bears

Everybody and their momma is picking the Patriots to win the Super Bowl, and they are the safe bet. But I figured I’d throw caution to the win and pick the Steelers to repeat, which will shock the world. Not really, but you have to admit if any team is going to repeat in the near future, the Steelers are as good a bet as anyone. The Bears I think will be the team to beat in the NFC not because of Jay Cutler like most people think, but because I think Matt Forte is going to have a monster year.

League MVP: Tom Brady, Patriots. Because of their success and him coming off injury, Brady will bring home another MVP award. Matt Forte, Jay Cutler, and Philip Rivers will be the next runner’s up.
Defensive MVP: DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys. He probably won’t top 20 sacks, but he’ll get close and will win this award.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Mark Sanchez, Jets. Taking the Jets to an 8-8 record and a playoff appearance, a no-brainer.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: B.J. Raji, Packers. I almost went with the USC sweep and picked Cushing here, but I figured Raji will win this since he may wind up being the best player on the Packers defense this year, while Cushing will always be second fiddle to Mario Williams.
Coach of the Year: Mike Tomlin, Steelers. While Lovie Smith and Belichick might also deserve this honor, they’ll give it to Tomlin because both of those other guys have already won one.

Coaching Carousel: Tom Cable, Jim Zorn, Gary Kubiak, Wade Phillips, and Dick Jauron will all be fired at the end of the year. The Cowboys will put on the full court press and hire Mike Shanahan. Washington will settle on Jon Gruden. Houston will replace Kubiak with Ron Rivera, while Jason Garrett will head north to Buffalo. And Oakland will eventually settle on Jim Fassel.

Last Undefeated Teams: The Patriots will start the season 11-0 until they lose to the Dolphins in Week 13. In the NFC, both the Vikings and Bears will get off to fast starts with both teams losing their first games in Week 6 to the Ravens and Falcons, respectively.
Last Winless Teams: The Raiders and Rams will go the longest without a victory this year. The Raiders first win will come against the Jets in Week 7, while the Rams won’t win until they face off with the Lions the following week.

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Falcons make a change on practice squad

September 8th, 2009 Comments off

The team signed former Iowa Hawkeye center Rob Bruggeman to their practice squad, replacing tackle Mike Butterworth. Bruggeman was an undrafted rookie free agent for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that was cut over the weekend. Bruggeman started one season at Iowa, his final year there, where he earned 2nd team All-Big 10 honors. Butterworth was an undrafted rookie free agent signing last season out of Slippery Rock, and finished the season on the team’s practice squad. He was re-signed this past off-season and was among the team’s final cuts on Saturday to get to the 53-man roster limit, before being signed to the practice squad on Sunday.

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