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 15 pecking order:

Week 15 QB Power Rankings
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
The Chiefs have gone to the wire with the Broncos and Texans recently, but does anyone ever really doubt No. 15 and Co. will get the job done? No one makes 300+ yards look easier. He's probably back in front in the MVP race, by the way, with a certain Philadelphia signal-caller now banged up ...
Jalen Hurts Philadelphia Eagles QB
He may well sit out Christmas Eve's rematch with Dallas after hurting his shoulder against Chicago. But knowing his toughness, he'll probably take it up until game time. A curiously pass-heavy script hurt his numbers in Week 15, but he remained a killer on the ground. With 35 total TDs on the year, he's still an MVP candidate.
Joe Burrow Cincinnati Bengals QB
Hurts' injury in Philly may pave the way for Burrow to go neck and neck with Mahomes in the MVP race. He's been lights out since the first quarter of the season, with or without a steady wide receiver corps, and easily outdueled Tom Brady down the stretch in Sunday's comeback rout of Tampa Bay. Watch out for this man in the playoffs.
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
For all the guff he's gotten this year for putting the ball in harm's way, Allen just got done making a four-TD outing vs. Miami look pretty normal. He's inherently gonna be more erratic with his style of gunslinging, but you can't replicate his highs. Unless of course your name is Patrick Mahomes or something.
Justin Herbert Los Angeles Chargers QB
The numbers weren't pretty against the Titans, but once again, his poise and gifted arm were on full display in Week 15. The best part about Herbert's recent step forward is that he's saving some of his best stuff for the drives that matter most. If L.A. can get into the playoffs, he looks ready for the stage.
Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
We're expecting him back after his injury-related two-game absence, even if John Harbaugh is playing coy to confuse the Falcons. And Tyler Huntley's ill-advised decisions against Cleveland were a reminder why Jackson is so important; inefficient as he may be through the air, he has the juice to will the Ravens down the field.
Trevor Lawrence Jacksonville Jaguars QB
Say hello to your new AFC South favorite? Talk about an encouraging second half of the season for the former No. 1 pick, who has made multiple major strides in crunch-time confidence under Doug Pederson. Now imagine his offense adding Calvin Ridley and/or other toys in 2023. The future is bright. (+1)
Kirk Cousins Minnesota Vikings QB
Kirko has had a really curious year. The lows have been lower than usual, even by his standards, and yet he's proven more resilient this season than maybe ever before. Like the Vikings, he will not die, as evidenced by his relentless picking apart of the Colts' secondary in Sunday's 33-point comeback. (-1)
Justin Fields Chicago Bears QB
If only this guy had a legitimate supporting cast. Which we've been saying since the offseason! Fields is truly a magician with his legs -- as close as to Lamar Jackson as any other QB. But until he's got the help to warrant a steadier passing game, it's tough to judge him as a decision-maker one way or another.
Geno Smith Seattle Seahawks QB
The fall to Earth is well underway. Geno is still controlling the ball overall, and there's no doubt his command of the pocket has improved since his earliest days. But lately, asked to be Mr. Perfect for a team lacking much defense or run-game rhythm, the burden has been apparent. The wild-card push may determine his future in Seattle. (-4)
Brock Purdy San Francisco 49ers QB
Recency bias is obviously a factor, but that's a big influence on all these rankings. And Purdy has done nothing but deliver since replacing Jimmy Garoppolo. Sure, Kyle Shanahan is leaning on the system more than freewheeling QB play, but that's always been the case. The rookie just looks the part in everything from mechanics to body language. (+4)
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers QB
A-Rod made a slew of unneccessary throws, and held it too long on a few would-be deep shots, against the Rams. But he also delivered some trademark lasers against a typically stingy secondary to keep Green Bay in the playoff hunt. Like the whole season, it wasn't smooth, but it can't be written off yet.
Jared Goff Detroit Lions QB
He wasn't particularly pretty against a feisty Jets front on Sunday, but he did not buckle under pressure, instead stepping up with calm touch in crunch time to keep Detroit in the playoff mix. Get in his face on the regular, and obviously the off-script athleticism just isn't there, but his resolve has been admirable. (-3)
Tua Tagovailoa Miami Dolphins QB
He took Buffalo to the wire in a big AFC East rematch, which is a plus. But he's now had three straight starts completing fewer than 57% of his throws, and Mike McDaniel didn't necessarily seem thrilled to let him air it out with the game on the line. He's had a good year, but is he ready to beat the best through the air? (-3)
Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys QB
Mercurial is the word to describe Dak this year. In just nine games, he's racked up both TDs (17) and picks (11), epitomizing the boom-or-bust nature of his Cowboys. With the talent at his disposal, he should be even more reliable. And the potential for big days is always there. But that's what we've been saying about America's Team for how long? (-2)
Daniel Jones New York Giants QB
If he's shown one thing this year, besides more consistent rushing ability, it's mettle. Thanks to the lackluster personnel, we have no idea whether he can win by pushing the ball downfield. For now, however, he does almost everything the Giants ask him to do, and it might be enough to make a playoff appearance. (+1)
Derek Carr Las Vegas Raiders QB
He is the perfect figurehead for the Raiders: gutsy and unpredictable. Las Vegas doesn't pull off its wild win over the Patriots if not for his late strikes. Somehow, though, his team is always in these do-or-die situations. (-1)
Tom Brady Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
The one thing you can usually trust TB12 to do is take care of the football, but even that wasn't in the cards during the Bucs' sour loss to the Bengals. The competitive fire is still buried within, but there have been precious few opportunities for Brady to really settle in and play freely this year. The clock is ticking on his time in Tampa. (-4)
Ryan Tannehill Tennessee Titans QB
He'll fight to play through the ankle injury that briefly sidelined him on Sunday, but healthy or not, he and the Titans are limping their way to the finish line. The WR corps isn't there to elevate his pedestrian passing, and not even Derrick Henry's rumbling success has proven capable of offseting that lately. (-1)
Deshaun Watson Cleveland Browns QB
Game No. 2 was an improvement, especially considering it came against a tough Ravens defense. Theroetically, the needle will keep pointing up as he settles in with Kevin Stefanski. But the ceiling for the rest of this year remains relatively low. (-1)
Andy Dalton New Orleans Saints QB
Nothing is ever pretty with these Saints, and we all know Dalton's limitations as a full-timer by now, but it's actually pretty impressive the numbers he's posted for such an undisciplined, banged-up team this year. He may have already earned a top backup job, or even a chance to win a lower-tier starting gig, in 2023. (+4)
Russell Wilson Denver Broncos QB
Out goes Brett Rypien, and in comes Russ for a chance to rebuild some pride before a long offseason. The bright side is he finally looked a little closer to his old self before going down with a head injury in Week 14. Let's hope he's back to form.
Sam Darnold Carolina Panthers QB
He's not throwing picks, which is about the best you can ask of Darnold at this point in his career. You just wish he might've been able to match Mitch Trubisky's production on Sunday. (-1)
Taylor Heinicke Washington Commanders QB
Heinicke will put his body on the line for any down and distance to help Washington win. But the scrappiness doesn't always equal smarts, especially when he picks his spots through the air, and that's why it's not crazy to suggest the Commanders retry Carson Wentz before the regular season wraps. (-4)
Baker Mayfield Los Angeles Rams QB
Give the guy credit for putting up a fight, which he's done since minute one in L.A. Working with a makeshift supporting cast, he was fairly feisty yet again on Monday, even after a risky first half. Imagine what he might look like with a full offseason and arsenal of weapons in a Sean McVay system. (+1)
Mac Jones New England Patriots QB
One of the most underrated offseason storylines for 2023 will be what the Patriots do at QB -- more specifically, which type of signal-caller they acquire to challenge him for the starting job going into year three. (-3)
Matt Ryan Indianapolis Colts QB
Of course he was the QB on the losing team of the greatest comeback in NFL history. Of course. (+1)
Colt McCoy Arizona Cardinals QB
Trace McSorley might be up next as McCoy recovers from a concussion as Kyler Murray's fill-in. Basically, don't count on Arizona scoring a whole lot of points for a long time. (-1)
Davis Mills Houston Texans QB
He gave his all taking Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to the wire. We're almost through two straight years of Mills gutting it out for a team that isn't doing a whole lot to help him on his side of the ball. (+1)
Kenny Pickett Pittsburgh Steelers QB
He's expected back under center after clearing concussion protocol. Will the play calls be there to support his return?
Zach Wilson New York Jets QB
There was actually a lot to like in Wilson's return; he had some serious zip on a couple of rollout passes, including down the stretch. But he also had a handful of total head-scratching decisions. One truly clean game would help his cause.
Desmond Ridder Atlanta Falcons QB
At least the Falcons can still run the ball!