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 13 pecking order:

Week 13 QB Power Rankings
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
He is playing some of his best football since the 50-touchdown MVP breakout in 2018. It doesn't matter who's playing out wide. He, Andy Reid and Travis Kelce are the modern-day Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Rob Gronkowski.
Jalen Hurts Philadelphia Eagles QB
It's Hurts and Mahomes as clear front-runners for MVP right now. The former has been truly remarkable in every facet of the game; not even his biggest fans could've predicted such a leap as a passer. His unmoved demeanor is just a bonus.
Joe Burrow Cincinnati Bengals QB
The work he's put in without Joe Mixon and Ja'Marr Chase is a reminder of his incredibly high floor. Burrow is far and away the biggest reason Cincinnati can even bother thinking about an AFC North title. Now imagine the fireworks upon Chase's return.
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
He's fallen back to Earth a bit over the last month, reverting to some of the erratic tendencies of earlier in his career. And yet without his monster arm and gung-ho approach, the Bills aren't 8-3 with at least the capability of matching a superpower like the Chiefs.
Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
He may never be the steady passer we want him to be, both by his own doing and that of his personnel, but few QBs are as critical to their team moving the ball at all. Only 11 players -- not QBs, players -- have more rushing yards than him this year.
Geno Smith Seattle Seahawks QB
Just because the Seahawks can't stop anybody on defense doesn't mean his Comeback Player of the Year bid has lost any luster. Even when Kenneth Walker III doesn't have running lanes, Smith has stood tall, stayed accurate and fed his elite wideouts. (+1)
Tua Tagovailoa Miami Dolphins QB
The Dolphins have done everything right to ensure his growth, much like the Eagles with Hurts. His timing with such an elite WR duo has helped him easily lead the NFL in yards per attempt (9.0) and completion (12.9). We all eagerly await his first true march toward a playoff run. (-1)
Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys QB
If you're just looking at the five-game sample size since his return from injury, Prescott has been one of the best, most efficient signal-callers in the game, completing almost 72% of his throws, averaging 8.2 YPA and two scores per game. Dallas is the wild card contender to beat. (+1)
Jimmy Garoppolo San Francisco 49ers QB
The 49ers offense wasn't necessarily firing on all cylinders in a shutout win over the Saints in Week 12, but Garoppolo has been especially steady as the caretaker of Kyle Shanahan's attack. On top of generally controlling the ball, he's looked a touch spryer than usual while extending plays. (+2)
Kirk Cousins Minnesota Vikings QB
Cousins is still having a slightly down year by his standards, but it doesn't show because of his resolve for such a scrappy contender. His Thanksgiving effort against the Patriots was especially encouraging, as he lasered good balls to all of his top weapons to beat Bill Belichick. (+2)
Justin Herbert Los Angeles Chargers QB
It's the Chargers, not Herbert. It's the Chargers, not Herbert. Keep repeating that, because if not for the young gun's ever-steady spirals, L.A. may well have lost to the Cardinals in Week 12. Strapped to an injury-riddled offense that refuses to air it out, he's found ways to post respectable numbers. (+2)
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers QB
Rodgers was actually gaining steam, showcasing some of that trademark play-extending magic, before hurting his ribs against the Eagles. Green Bay has multiple reasons to let him heal while getting an extended look at Jordan Love, but he's determined to fight while the season hangs in the balance. How much can he freestyle in this condition? (-2)
Tom Brady Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
He said this week he'd "rather lose and play than not play at all," which is the right attitude for a QB, but also indicative of this Bucs season. Brady has controlled the ball, but he's struggled to move it consistently as Tampa Bay endures one schematic and injury-related hiccup after another. (-5)
Trevor Lawrence Jacksonville Jaguars QB
Quietly regaining steam for one of the feel-good rebuilding stories of 2022, Lawrence saved some of his sharpest stuff for crunch time, pairing with Doug Pederson to upset the Ravens and give Jags fans genuine hope for the future. When he's on, he's got a zip on the ball like Justin Herbert. (+3)
Deshaun Watson Cleveland Browns QB
After 11 games of feisty play from Jacoby Brissett, it's Watson's turn in Cleveland. Off-field issues aside, it's fair to wonder how comfortable he'll be, playing for the first time in two years. But the natural mobility and downfield touch should give him a relatively high floor.
Ryan Tannehill Tennessee Titans QB
His performance in a low-scoring loss to the Bengals was representative of his standing in Tennessee: perfectly competent, and perfectly dependent on Derrick Henry, whose inability to roll over Cincy's front left the Titans lukewarm on offense. (-3)
Derek Carr Las Vegas Raiders QB
He's never been a quitter, you can give him that, and it showed in a shootout win against Seattle, where Josh Jacobs lent a big hand. In general, he's looked more decisive since Josh McDaniels' infamous loss to the interim-led Colts, breathing new life into Vegas. (-1)
Jared Goff Detroit Lions QB
Imagine if he'd pulled off a Thanksgiving upset of Josh Allen and the Bills in Detroit. Too often this year, Goff's numbers have been boosted by playing catch-up. But he really has put up a fight to keep the Lions scrappy, showcasing brilliant chemistry with Amon-Ra St. Brown.
Daniel Jones New York Giants QB
As we roll into December, it's not going to be enough for Jones just to take care of the ball, which he's mostly done under Brian Daboll. He needs to prove he can consistently put the ball into the air, beyond the sticks. Does he have the pieces to do so? (-4)
Kyler Murray Arizona Cardinals QB
Talk about unmet expectations in Arizona. With each passing week, it feels more inevitable that Murray will have a new coach before long, not solely because Kliff Kingsbury can't get his offense in rhythm, but because Murray doesn't really help, flashing athleticism but struggling to produce within structure.
Marcus Mariota Atlanta Falcons QB
The definition of a borderline wild card QB, Mariota doesn't have the passing acumen to trust in tight spots, or for extended periods, but as long as his legs are in working order, Arthur Smith's Falcons will stick around. (-2)
Mac Jones New England Patriots QB
Written off as a near-nuisance for Bill Belichick's own defensively led contender, Jones returned to life on Thanksgiving, picking apart the Vikings for much of a close game. As we saw in his rookie year, when he's got time to read a "D," he can play point guard reasonably well. (+3)
Taylor Heinicke Washington Commanders QB
He's a safe weekly bet for at least one turnover; his energy is more consistent than his decision-making. But you can't deny his confidence has seeped across the lineup, giving Ron Rivera a spicy contender as long as the one-two punch of Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson Jr. is also working. (-1)
Mike White New York Jets QB
Hello, QB1. Making his first start of 2022 for Zach Wilson, White did all the little things well, unlocking the Jets' young talent out wide. Better defenses will expose his lack of mobility, but you could do a whole lot worse in New York. His arm talent is visible in the way he drives the ball downfield. (+5)
Matt Ryan Indianapolis Colts QB
Is it Ryan, or is it the Colts? It's both. The longtime Falcon has been a fighter all year, battling bad circumstances up front and organizationally, but his time has come and gone as a QB capable of transcending so-so setups. (-4)
Sam Darnold Carolina Panthers QB
Well, well, well. Darnold returned to bring an actual spark to Carolina's offense, which isn't nothing. He's proven before that one bad swing could send him into a skittish streak, but for now, you love to see that lingering arm talent, which bodes well for D.J. Moore. (+2)
Russell Wilson Denver Broncos QB
Unless he instantly snaps back to his peak Seattle days down the stretch, he's probably headed for a new coach in 2023. Regardless, he and whomever is in charge have to find a way to rebuild his fundamentals and confidence as his once-vaunted elusiveness slips from the repertoire. (-3)
Kenny Pickett Pittsburgh Steelers QB
Every start for him is just an opportunity to do one thing a little better, because the real test comes in 2023, when hopefully he's got a better line and scheme to maximize his talent. In Week 12, he stayed calm even when the game got tight, flashing pinpoint accuracy in some clutch spots. (-1)
Andy Dalton New Orleans Saints QB
If you're Dennis Allen, why are you not experimenting with a return to Jameis Winston or, dare we suggest, a Wildcat-centric game plan with Taysom Hill? Dalton is probably the safest option among them, but he's been either red hot or ice cold all year. (-6)
Bryce Perkins Los Angeles Rams QB
By the time the season ends, Perkins may be throwing to guys who aren't even on the roster right now. Just think about how that sentence would've sounded immediately after the Super Bowl. The Rams are thoroughly depleted. (+1)
Kyle Allen Houston Texans QB
His debut in place of Davis Mills was far from inspiring, but the staff probably deserves more blame for failing to get Dameon Pierce going on the ground. (-1)
Trevor Siemian Chicago Bears QB
Nearly sidelined before his own emergency start with an oblique injury, Siemian is seasoned, but he's a seismic drop-off from the dual-threat power of Justin Fields.