(It's Hipster Power Rankings)

Gallant's "Do You Matter" NFL Rankings

The phrase "Power Rankings" annoys me. "WOW". "PIZAZZ". "FIRE".

As such, I am giving my rip off of NFL Power Rankings the name: "Do You Matter?" Rankings. So much edgier. Can it sell T-shirts? Maybe.

Could Go Undefeated

1. New England Patriots (1-0)

Let's be honest. After their dismantling of the Steelers last Sunday, the Patriots looked unbeatable.

It's week 1, and every team has some sort thermal exhaust port just waiting for an X-Wing to blow it all up (Antonio Brown drama could very well be it). But I'm at a loss for what it is with New England. Their defense looks like it has the potential to be something that I haven't seen from them since the 2000s. They have TOO MANY weapons - (they even traded Demaryius Thomas to free up roster space) for Tom Brady. And an offensive line with questions certainly impressed against a pretty good Pittsburgh pass rush.

The only question you can attempt after a 33-3 blowout: were some strange looking Brady throws early a sign of rust? Or slippage?

The Cool Kids Table

2. Dallas Cowboys (1-0)

3. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)

4. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)

5. Los Angeles Rams (1-0)

Dak Prescott had a strong finish to last season. But he played INCREDIBLY on Sunday, and more importantly, he did it in a game where Ezekiel Elliott struggled. Even if the Giants end up being pushovers this season, there are few teams that can handle the Cowboys' receiver trio of Amari Cooper, Randall Cobb, and Michael Gallup.

The other three teams look like they're wearing sweatpants. Kansas City will be without Tyreek Hill for a while, and saw Patrick Mahomes limping around at the end of Sunday's game with an ankle injury. The Eagles defense was smacked around by Case Keenum before Philly's offense showed up. And with the suspicion around Todd Gurley's knee, will Jared Goff continue to sporadically have shaky outings like his against Carolina?

Peed Themselves

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1)

The Steelers flew under the radar this offseason after parting ways with Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. They might have a locker room in better spirits. But on Sunday, they looked less explosive on offense. Shouldn't that be expected after losing those two?

Blame a week of distractions after Antonio Brown signed with the Patriots. Blame the defensive coaching staff. Blame Tom Brady being older than Myles Davis yet STILL really good. But whatever you decide, Mike Tomlin consistently hasn't been able to beat New England when it matters. Is Pittsburgh O.K. settling with that? I wouldn't be.

Praying For A Cool Kid To Get Canceled

I may get all my knowledge of post-millennials from Thirteen Reasons Why. But kids too face the issue that everyone from politicians to actors to comedians face: getting canceled (like Marcus in season 2). So for these kids to yeet amongst the cööl, they'll need something like that to happen to the teams above to move up my relevance ratings.

7. New Orleans Saints (1-0)

I'm concerned about Drew Brees' ability to play at a high level for 16 games plus based off the end of last year.

8. Los Angeles Chargers (1-0)

They always have talent. But they always feel likely to disappoint.

9. Baltimore Ravens (1-0)

Baltimore might have been the most impressive team in week 1. Lamar Jackson looked like a video game. And new additions Mark Ingram, Marquise Brown, and Earl Thomas ALL made contributions.

BUT, they played Miami.

10. Seattle Seahawks (1-0)

Seattle's pass rush - with Jadeveon Clowney BUT no Ziggy Ansah aboard - looked pretty good. But the offense looked very sluggish in a post Doug Baldwin world. And it's a strange sight to see the likes of Andy Dalton and John Ross - who were playing without injured teammates A.J. Green and Joe Mixon - dominate a secondary the way they did Seattle's.

11. Minnesota Vikings (1-0)

The Vikings didn't need a big day from Kirk Cousins to take down a middle of the road team. But they likely will to take down a real predator.

12. Green Bay Packers (1-0)

I'm not going to lie. I had the Packers FAR lower than this before week 1. I don't see Aaron Rodgers and Matt Lafleur being able to click. And no matter where this goes, they sure as hell didn't click week 1. If not for Green Bay's defensive performance, they'd be in the 20s.

There's just one thing...

13. Houston Texans (0-1)

14. Tennessee Titans (1-0)

15. Chicago Bears (0-1)

16. Buffalo Bills (1-0)

17. Indianapolis Colts (0-1)

All of these teams have something that I like...

  • The Texans have Deshaun Watson, who looked top 5 Monday
  • The Titans are consistently average to good across their entire roster
  • The Bears defense is absolutely terrifying
  • The Bills aren't far behind
  • A Colts are a well coached, complete team.
But they're in a rough spot with their current quarterback



  • Deshaun Watson looks he'll get crushed behind his line.
  • Marcus Mariota can't beat teams with his arm, or stay healthy
  • Mitchell Trubisky seems to be trying too hard to put the past behind him
  • Josh Allen struggles with accuracy
  • Jacoby Brissett is not Andrew Luck
Sadly, that ain't as easy as getting rid of pony tails and glasses.

Walk Of Shame

18. Cleveland Browns (0-1)

All that hype, and they were blown out at home by a team with Marcus Mariota under center.

There.

19. Carolina Panthers (0-2)

20. Washington Redskins (0-1)

21. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1)

22. San Francisco 49ers (1-0)

23. Atlanta Falcons (0-1)

The only noteworthy thing concerning these teams? The Panthers are stuck in this group.

Florida Men

24. Oakland Raiders (1-0)

25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)

26. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)

I'm very much confused by all of these teams, as we all are by Florida men, thus the label.

Old Yeller


27. New York Giants (0-1)

28. Denver Broncos (1-0)

I don't want to watch Eli Manning or Joe Flacco anymore.

The Bye Weeks

29. New York Jets (0-1)

Sam Darnold having mono is sooo painfully Jets.

30. Detroit Lions (0-1)

30. Arizona Cardinals (0-1)

Ties are a bi-product of the NFL's bizarre 10 minute overtime rule, which totally disrupts the flow of the game.

32. Miami Dolphins (0-1)

The 2019 Miami team motto - "TNT" for "Takes No Talent" - is amusing.

Paul Gallant hosts the "Gallant Says" podcast (Tuesdays & Fridays), "Just Sayin'", Friday nights at 10:30 on Kube 57, and contributes to SB Nation Radio. Have any questions? Get after him on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

Houston accused of more wrongdoing

New report of illegal sign-stealing puts Astros back under scrutiny

Jason Behnken / Getty Images

Back in 2017, the Houston Astros could be considered the darlings of the MLB. They helped pull a Harvey-ravaged city out of despair and into a celebration in a matter of months with the acquisition of Justin Verlander and subsequent World Series victory. The young team full of potential suddenly had the attention of not only fans but other MLB clubs and the league's front office.

On Tuesday, that attention reared itself yet again in a severely negative way, with the Athletic reporting (subscription required) that former-Astro Mike Fiers was alleging and confirming that his former team used illegal means to steal signs in their 2017 championship season. Fiers, along with three other anonymous sources with the team in 2017, claims that the team used cameras and other technology to monitor opposing catchers to relay signs to batters in real-time. The Astros have released the following statement:

"Regarding the story posted by The Athletic earlier today, the Houston Astros organization has begun an investigation in cooperation with Major League Baseball. It would not be appropriate to comment further on this matter at this time."

While GM Jeff Luhnow had this to say:

Another negative blow to the team's reputation

This is not the first time the Astros have been under a microscope in recent years, the most recent being less than a month ago when assistant general manager Brandon Taubman taunted reporters in the Astros clubhouse following their ALCS series-clinching win. The Astros fumbled that event, coming out with a rebuttal against the reporter, which would eventually be retracted, and Taubman terminated from his employment.

Neither is this the first time the Astros have dealt with accusations of sign-stealing and other forms of cheating. In this year's ALCS, the Yankees complained about a "whistling" noise from Houston's dugout they believed to be a method of relaying pitches to batters at the plate. Also, in the 2018 postseason, the Astros found themselves under fire for having an employee taking photos of the opposing team's dugout.

It's just part of the game until it's not

Both pitch tipping and stealing signs are things that are nearly unavoidable in baseball. With the catcher having to relay a sign to the pitcher 60.5 feet away using his hands, the opposing team will inevitably try to decipher what's coming. The same is true of tipping, where if a pitcher has a tell before a specific pitch, that information will quickly spread through the dugout.

However, there is a line teams should not cross, and that comes by way of utilizing technology to aid further the ability to steal signs, and using that to give an immediate advantage to a batter amid an at-bat. The Astros are not the first team to be alleged of this type of grievance, as the Red Sox received a fine after utilizing a smartwatch to try and steal signs.

It's a widely known and accepted fact that teams will try anything within reason to get a leg up on their opponent. However, with technology ever improving both for organizations to use and be caught by, it's no surprise that this is becoming an issue that the MLB will have to deal with, and soon.

Ramifications could loom large

Will the Astros be found guilty and made an example of to deter other teams for trying similar tactics? It appears we will have to wait for the conclusion of this investigation to find out. While it may not be an indictment of the entire team, it will bring into question the integrity and character of many of the team.

Still, no matter the outcome, the report alone and continued negativity surrounding the Astros organization has made them villains of many, a role that many would not have expected this team to play if asked just two years ago.

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