Mike Meredith / CBS Sports

Nothing steers NFL teams quite like quarterbacks. It's possible, not probable, to win in spite of them. It's preferable, not easy, to land the best of them. They are, more than anyone else, the ones who shape the football landscape, week in and week out.

That's why we're ranking all 32 starting signal-callers throughout the 2022 season: to take stock of the most important players in the game, sorting everyone from the bona fide superstars to the QBs who might be worth replacing.

Consider the ranking a weekly QB draft: if we could select any QB to guide a team both now and for the remainder of the season, this is how our draft board might look. This process is meant to incorporate 1.) current status, 2.) past performance, and 3.) future outlook. That way resume doesn't always trump current momentum, and vice-versa.

Now, without further ado, our Week 8 pecking order:

Week 8 QB Power Rankings
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
The magician is back on top. He and Josh Allen are truly 1A and 1B, and the Bills star actually has the leg up when it comes to the ground game. But Mahomes' unfazed influence on everyone around him is so apparent in Andy Reid's offense, allowing the Chiefs to make scoring look easy whenever and however they'd like. (+1)
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
From strictly a passing perspective, he and Mahomes are eerily similar. Both QBs are completing 66.9 percent of their throws, averaging 8.2 yards per attempt, and they've combined for 37 TDs against just nine picks. MVP material. (-1)
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers QB
Sorry, but if you were slotting QBs onto neutral squads, A-Rod would still warrant our trust. Put him on the Bills or Chiefs, and he's in the MVP conversation right now. The arm and touch are intact; the help from Green Bay is not.
Joe Burrow Cincinnati Bengals QB
All of a sudden another title bid from Cincinnati doesn't feel out of the question, chiefly because Burrow has really found his groove as the elite ball-handler he is. Watching him place passes to his stud receivers is a work of art. (+1)
Tom Brady Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
Like Rodgers, we'd still take TB12 in a heartbeat if he were operating in a functional offense. Only Mahomes comes close to matching his crunch-time wiring. And yet, with elite skill talent at his disposal, he's increasingly falling victim to poor game planning. (-1)
Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
As always, it comes down to his sheer playmaking ability: no one moves like he does at this position, and more often than not, it makes up for whatever inconsistencies there are in his aerial attack. (+1)
Justin Herbert Los Angeles Chargers QB
It's officially time to peg him a notch or two below Burrow, his fellow AFC up-and-comer. The Chargers are partially to blame, what with their injury-riddled supporting cast and wonky play-calling/decision-making. You love the laser arm, but you expect a bit more to come from it. (-1)
Jalen Hurts Philadelphia Eagles QB
Unflappable as they come, Hurts has a real chance to cement himself as the face of the franchise over the second half of the year, when he must prove his growth as a passer is as sustainable as his hard-fought rushing ability.
Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys QB
His return to the lineup against Detroit was predictably rusty, but Dak does too many little things well over the long haul to prefer many of his fellow upper-middle-tier starters.
Matthew Stafford Los Angeles Rams QB
Give him shoddy protection, and his penchant for untimely gambles will worsen. Give him something even close to the setup the Rams enjoyed in 2021, and his arm will keep Los Angeles in the division hunt.
Kirk Cousins Minnesota Vikings QB
You can see a common thread with most of these guys after, oh, the top eight or so QBs on this list: an increasing dependence on surroundings. Cousins is the prototype -- perfectly efficient enough to win games, but not necessarily on his own.
Geno Smith Seattle Seahawks QB
We've now had enough of a sample size to see that Geno is, in fact, a different QB from the one who stumbled around a bad Jets team years ago. Whatever his long-term prospects are, he's throwing everywhere -- off-base, from the pocket, on the run -- with such precision and confidence that, right now, he can't be ignored. (+6)
Kyler Murray Arizona Cardinals QB
Every snap in Arizona feels like a bomb waiting to go off, for better or worse. Murray and Kliff Kingsbury are a dynamite bunch in that one second they're screaming at each other for absent-minded strategy, and the next they're celebrating a highlight-reel scramble. Exciting, but volatile. (-1)
Derek Carr Las Vegas Raiders QB
The Raiders are improving by becoming Josh Jacobs' show, which is bittersweet in its revelation about Carr: forever capable of elite streaks and late-game comeback efforts, he's inconsistent on the whole.
Russell Wilson Denver Broncos QB
Is he broken, or are the Broncos? Or are they working in tandem to fall apart? No answer is a good one. It's hard to envision Russ looking so erratic if he happened to play for, say, Brian Daboll's Giants, but his health and confidence are worth monitoring. (-2)
Jimmy Garoppolo San Francisco 49ers QB
The 49ers' loss to the Chiefs showcased the full Jimmy G experience: hot start early, leaning on the run, but once the game script required him to throw his way into a battle with Mahomes, the ill-advised heaves into traffic quickly emerged. (-1)
Ryan Tannehill Tennessee Titans QB
He'll tough it out in an effort to stay on the field after hurting his ankle in Week 7, but you wonder what the Titans offense might look like with Malik Willis, a true threat to take off, as Derrick Henry's complement. (-1)
Tua Tagovailoa Miami Dolphins QB
The biggest concern is whether he can protect himself after such a scary string of injuries. Nearly as big: whether he can correct timing issues that nearly robbed the Dolphins of a prime-time win against the Steelers.
Trevor Lawrence Jacksonville Jaguars QB
So much for the Jags stealing the AFC South. All in all, Lawrence is more comfortable slinging it out there. But he still feels another year away from fully coming into his own as a decision-maker.
Daniel Jones New York Giants QB
Every week, he gets a little closer to earning another shot as Brian Daboll's QB beyond 2022. You wonder if/when he'll be tasked with winning a game through the air, but for now, the athleticism and ball control has been inspiring. (+2)
Justin Fields Chicago Bears QB
Who knew that the Bears could actually move the ball by leaning on Fields' best attribute: his mobility? The QB still has room to grow firing it downfield, but a better WR corps would help there. He had the best night of his career upsetting the Patriots in Foxborough, so the future is suddenly much brighter. (+6)
Taylor Heinicke Washington Commanders QB
Believe it or not, there's some Carson Wentz in his game: a never-say-die hunger for the big play. The difference is, he brings more on the margins, extending plays with his legs and dumping it off when he must. (+2)
Kenny Pickett Pittsburgh Steelers QB
The results weren't there for the rookie against the Dolphins, but as always, the belief was. He should keep getting better as a decision-maker. His tools, especially when it comes to navigating the pocket, are promising. (-3)
Mac Jones New England Patriots QB
Who knows what Bill Belichick will do here after Bailey Zappe's energetic but ultimately deflating relief appearance on Monday night? Jones is such a tough evaluation right now: his comfort looks sapped amid their setup, but he's still capable of precision strikes when given time.
Jared Goff Detroit Lions QB
Remember when he was lighting up the stat sheet as the Lions played catch-up earlier this year? Good times. Now, Detroit suddenly and increasingly looks like one of the top candidates to pursue a true face of the franchise come 2023.
Jacoby Brissett Cleveland Browns QB
At this point, it's a major, major victory for the Browns if Brissett just doesn't turn the ball over in a close game. He's got an accurate streak in him, but again, when you ask him to shoulder an offense for months at a time, the limitations are clear. (+4)
Marcus Mariota Atlanta Falcons QB
Do not, under any circumstances, ask him to throw it to win a game. That's what the Falcons appear to think, anyway. At least he's always got juice on the move. (+1)
P.J. Walker Carolina Panthers QB
An erratic turnover magnet in his previous emergency action, Walker looked like a new man against the Bucs, of all teams, throwing loosely and accurately to enliven Carolina's offense. He should remain under center indefinitely. (+4)
Zach Wilson New York Jets QB
What, exactly, is the former first-rounder bringing to the Jets offense except the mere threat of an athletic scramble? How New York approaches this position if the wins keep piling up but he keeps remaining a background piece will be fascinating. (-3)
Davis Mills Houston Texans QB
He brought some of his best stuff in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Raiders. Now, will Houston keep his supporting cast intact even as the trade deadline nears? (+1)
Sam Ehlinger Indianapolis Colts QB
The Colts are throwing caution to the wind by benching Matt Ryan in favor of unproven athletic upside here, but maybe he's got some Taylor Heinicke spunk to save Indy's rushing attack.
Andy Dalton New Orleans Saints QB
Jameis Winston may be ready to return, in which case Dennis Allen will have to decide between one injury- and turnover-riddled veteran and another. (-3)