(It's Hipster Power Rankings)

Gallant's "Do You Matter" NFL 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.

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It's go time! Composite Getty Image.

96 games down, 66 games to go as the Astros tackle a fairly significant series in Seattle to open up the figurative second half of the season Friday night. It’s actually just over 40 percent of the schedule remaining. With the Astros having closed within one game of the Mariners in the American League West it’s the biggest series possible for them as the season resumes. But it’s not remotely make or break. Measuring by run differential the Astros should already be out front. They have outscored their opponents by 49 runs while Seattle is just plus-19. The actual standings can be explained in no small part by this comparison: in one-run games the Astros are a pitiful 7-17 while the Mariners are 19-14.

The spectrum of outcomes this weekend ranges from the Astros sweeping and leaving the Emerald City two games on top, to getting swept and heading down the coast to Oakland four games behind. Of note, the Mariners beat the Astros in five of the seven meetings to date this season. So if Seattle wins this series it clinches the season series and playoff tiebreaker should a spot come down to it. The Astros and Mariners have another series to come after this one, three games in Houston the final week of the regular season.

Trade deadline looming

What may be even more important than this weekend’s games is who gets what done between now and the July 30 trade deadline. With Justin Verlander clearly not close to returning, Spencer Arrighetti and Jake Bloss both performance question marks, and both Ronel Blanco and Hunter Brown being asked to handle unprecedented workloads for them, the Astros’ rotation needs obvious fortification. The Mariners’ rotation is second to none in the American League and their bullpen is good. Seattle’s lineup is atrocious. The Chicago White Sox are on pace to be one of the worst teams of all-time. The ChiSox’ offense is a joke with a team batting average of .220. The Mariners’ team average is .219. Only the White Sox and pathetic Marlins are scoring fewer runs per game than the M’s.

The Mariners have 11 players with at least 100 at bats this season. Eight of them have an OPS of .690 or lower. Cal Raleigh has the highest at .734. The Astros have 12 guys with at least 100 at bats including Jose Abreu. Abreu, Chas McCormick, and Mauricio Dubon are the only .690 or worse OPS guys. Kyle Tucker is the Astros’ OPS leader by a significant margin, .979 to Yordan Alvarez’s .912. What’s that you ask? Who is this Kyle Tucker? 35 missed games and counting for “Tuck” with his leg bone bruise, with return not imminent. T-Mobile Park is a notably better pitchers’ park than is Minute Maid Park, but not enough to shrug off the Mariners’ offensive ineptitude. The Mariners team payroll is more than 100 million dollars below the Astros’ payroll. The Mariners have the clearly better farm system from which to deal. If Seattle doesn’t add offense, its ownership and front office will deserve a continued fade in the second half, on top of the Mariners’ 8-15 gimp into the All-Star break.

Don't forget about the Rangers

With the Astros and Mariners going at it this weekend with the division lead in the balance, a reminder that this is not a two-team race. The Texas Rangers rallying to take the final two games at Minute Maid Park last weekend sent up a flare that the reigning World Series Champions are definitely still in the picture. The Rangers sit four games behind the Astros, five back of the Mariners. If the Rangers manage to win their series in Arlington with the Orioles this weekend, they are guaranteed to gain ground on at least one team ahead of them. The Astros-Rangers season series sits tied at five wins apiece with three games left, it will be decided in Arlington the first week of August. The Rangers and Mariners play seven more times.

In broader view, as measured by opponents’ records, the Astros have the toughest remaining schedule among the three. Among the 30 big league clubs the Rangers have the fourth easiest slate left, the Mariners have the fifth easiest, the Astros have the 15th easiest. If the Astros ultimately are not to win the West, there is the Wild Card race to keep in mind. The Astros are seven games behind the Yankees, four behind the Twins, and three and a half back of the Red Sox. Those three currently hold the Wild Card spots. The Astros are also a game and a half behind the Royals. The Astros have already lost the season series and tiebreakers to the Yankees, Twins, and Royals. The Astros and Red Sox have all six of their meetings yet to come.

Remembering Ken Hoffman

This is my first column since the passing last Sunday of my friend and eventual colleague Ken Hoffman. I originally learned of Ken’s quirkiness and wit through his columns at the Houston Post. He was a big sports fan. Our friendship was driven in part by our shared passion for tennis. We played probably more than a thousand times over nearly 20 years. Tennis and baseball were Ken’s two favorite sports. His two favorite athletes were Roger Federer and Jose Altuve. Well, after he and his wife Erin’s son Andrew, who was a pitcher on Trinity University’s 2016 NCAA Division Three national championship-winning team.

*Catch our weekly Stone Cold ‘Stros podcast. Brandon Strange, Josh Jordan, and I discuss varied Astros topics. The first post for the week generally goes up Monday afternoon (second part released Tuesday) via The SportsMap HOU YouTube channel or listen to episodes in their entirety at Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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