CBS Sports illustration (Keytron Jordan)

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.

While these rankings don't necessarily reflect which QBs we'd rather have for the remainder of the year (or their career) -- for example, we still trust Tom Brady over, say, Geno Smith -- they are designed to showcase which ones are performing and positioned best at this moment.

Now, without further ado, our Week 12 pecking order:

Week 11 QB Power Rankings
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
At this point, no one looks like a safer bet to reach the Super Bowl than the Chiefs. As usual, that's primarily due to Mahomes, who's averaging almost three TDs per game to easily pace the league. Better yet, no one is more unfazed, regardless of the score or circumstance.
Jalen Hurts Philadelphia Eagles QB
Miscues around him, from teammates and the play-caller, have rendered the Eagles vulnerable as of late. Hurts himself has weathered it all; he still takes care of the ball, and he is thoroughly unmoved by the moment, always proving clutch on the ground.
Joe Burrow Cincinnati Bengals QB
Without Ja'Marr Chase, all Burrow's done is reposition Cincinnati to make noise in the AFC. What he lacks in Josh Allen-esque versatility, he makes up for with reliability, passing all the in-pocket tests with flying colors. Only Mahomes has scored more TDs. (+1)
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
Only Mahomes is as consistently dangerous, but some of his boom-or-bust tendencies have flared up while he battles elbow pain. After opening the year looking even more improved as a decision-maker, he's reverted back to gunslinger -- explosive but vulnerable. (-1)
Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
Not a whole lot about his game, or the Ravens offense, is very pretty thanks to another year of injuries out wide and up front. Still, he's on pace for over 1,100 rushing yards, never permitting Baltimore to be written off.
Tua Tagovailoa Miami Dolphins QB
Everyone wants to see how he fares down the stretch, with a playoff trip on the line, but until then, he's proven he can be a clutch distributor to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, performing like an uber-efficient version of Jimmy Garoppolo for Mike McDaniel.
Geno Smith Seattle Seahawks QB
In 10 games, he's been the most accurate among all active starting QBs. But he's not just playing it safe, as we all assumed he might, also ranking No. 8 among regular starters in yards per attempt. The stretch run will be fascinating for his 2023 prospects.
Tom Brady Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
Bruce Arians said recently the Bucs have their swagger back. Brady appears to be included. He's not been terribly efficient overall, but he's done more than enough in crunch time to get Tampa Bay back in the mix. An underrated figure: only four turnovers in 10 games. (+1)
Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys QB
Dak is back. Four games into his return from injury, Prescott finally looks fully comfortable. He's completed over 75 percent of his throws three times since mid-October, and the Cowboys have the personnel to let him keep playing point guard rather than superhero. (+6)
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers QB
Rodgers' top-10 placement is more indicative of the position's general mediocrity than anything he's done for the slumping Packers. We have little doubt Pro Bowl A-Rod remains within, but Green Bay's shoddy setup has taken its toll on his consistency. (-2)
Jimmy Garoppolo San Francisco 49ers QB
Keep it up, and he'll go into 2023 battling Trey Lance yet again, if not opening the year as the outright starter. Jimmy G has his ceiling when carrying an offense, but he's shown a surprising amount of pocket mobility while feeding all of Kyle Shanahan's playmakers. (+2)
Kirk Cousins Minnesota Vikings QB
The Vikings' embarrassing loss to Dallas wasn't all on him by any means; when the line folds, he can only do so much. But Minnesota's close wins this year have kind of masked an uncharacteristically streaky year from the typically efficient vet. (-2)
Justin Herbert Los Angeles Chargers QB
There's really no reason a QB of his caliber should be trailing the likes of Zach Wilson, P.J. Walker and Mac Jones in yards per attempt. His cannon is on par with Mahomes and Allen, but he's yet to settle in when it counts. L.A. has to correct this. (-1)
Ryan Tannehill Tennessee Titans QB
Malik Willis' brief entry as an injury replacement may have sparked something in him, because he's come on lately while involving Treylon Burks and Austin Hooper. Derrick Henry still runs the show, but Tannehill's quietly posted the No. 7 passer rating among active starters. (+3)
Daniel Jones New York Giants QB
Jones' run as a reformed caretaker of the ball came to a sour end in New York's loss to Detroit. And now his barren receiving corps is even more battered. Brian Daboll's only hope for a second-half push may be to lean even more on the QB's legs. (-1)
Derek Carr Las Vegas Raiders QB
If anything, the Davante Adams connection is working: 10 of his 15 TDs are to the ex-Packers star. In truth, Carr's shown more life as Josh McDaniels' seat has gotten warmer. (+3)
Trevor Lawrence Jacksonville Jaguars QB
He's turned a bit of a corner in November, avoiding picks and completing over 70 percent of his throws in back-to-back competitive starts. We may not learn of his true ceiling for another year or so, but at least he's moving in the right direction. (+3)
Jared Goff Detroit Lions QB
One of the most curious QBs on the list, Goff's best numbers have come when Detroit is losing, signifying an ability to play catch-up. He's successfully stayed in the background during the Lions' recent hot streak. (+5)
Jacoby Brissett Cleveland Browns QB
Funny enough, as Deshaun Watson prepares to take over, Brissett has shown some of his best stuff in recent weeks. He's cut down on the forced throws and developed some solid red zone chemistry with his pass catchers. (+5)
Marcus Mariota Atlanta Falcons QB
The mystery of Mariota is that the Falcons have not -- and almost cannot -- rely on him through the air, and yet he brings enough savvy mobility that, like an extremely lite version of Lamar Jackson or Justin Fields, he can keep chains moving. (+6)
Matt Ryan Indianapolis Colts QB
Considering the Colts' dysfunction this year, he's actually been remarkably resilient, keeping Michael Pittman Jr. and Parris Campbell busy. That doesn't mean he's more than a mid-tier option behind an unstable line. (-3)
Taylor Heinicke Washington Commanders QB
The wins keep coming in Washington, which justifies Ron Rivera sticking with his energetic leadership. The key to continued success is taking what the defense gives rather than getting greedy, especially considering the talent he's got at the skill spots.
Andy Dalton New Orleans Saints QB
It's either three TDs or three turnovers with this guy, it seems. On the whole, Dalton has actually enlivened an otherwise slumping Saints team. But can he do it steadily against legitimate teams? (+5)
Russell Wilson Denver Broncos QB
Even affording Russ patience as he transitions to a new team and new coach, how in the world does he have seven TDs and five picks in nine games? Denver truly has been dead in the water with the ex-Seahawks star under center. (-3)
Mac Jones New England Patriots QB
As long as he keeps edging out the hapless Zach Wilson in AFC East battles, letting the Patriots defense do all the work, all is well, right? New England might make a playoff bid without him ever throwing a TD pass again.
Colt McCoy Arizona Cardinals QB
Give the old man props for gutting it out against the 49ers' front as Kyler Murray rested his hamstrings. He's at least more structured than Murray in his execution, but playing with an aging and injured Cardinals lineup, he can only be expected to do so much.
Kenny Pickett Pittsburgh Steelers QB
He takes shots, which is more than many Steelers fans can ask for in the predictable Matt Canada system. He also misses a decent amount of would-be lay-ups. It's unfair to label the kid one thing or another until he gets a proper audition in 2023. (+3)
Sam Darnold Carolina Panthers QB
We're projecting Darnold will replace Baker Mayfield, which is something Steve Wilks has already forecast. Even if he doesn't, or if P.J. Walker is back, Carolina's spot in the order is the same. This franchise is just counting the days until its next QB reset.
Mike White New York Jets QB
Robert Saleh isn't committing to Zach Wilson, which means it could be White's time. Regardless, the Jets' biggest issue lies under center, where they've failed to get even competent production despite a playoff-caliber lineup.
Kyle Allen Houston Texans QB
This is the region of replacement QBs, as you can see. Davis Mills' job is in jeopardy, Lovie Smith admitted, but Allen isn't exactly a savvy No. 2, bringing so-so experience from Carolina and Washington.
Bryce Perkins Los Angeles Rams QB
Matthew Stafford is back in concussion protocol, and John Wolford is nursing a sore neck. So Perkins is in line for his first career start against none other than Mahomes and the Chiefs.
Trevor Siemian Chicago Bears QB
The drop-off from Justin Fields may not be massively steep in terms of late-game passing touch, but Siemian, unlike the banged-up regular starter here, is definitely not one of the NFL's best on the ground.