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.

Our weekly ranking factors in 1.) current status, 2.) past performance and 3.) future outlook, indicating which QBs we'd rather have both now and for the remainder of this season. That's why, for example, you'll find Aaron Rodgers ranked ahead of Geno Smith, even though the latter has been surprisingly efficient in Seattle. If you're looking purely for rankings of the best statistical QBs this year, feel free to peruse your nearest passer-rating leaderboard. If you're looking for informed but subjective rankings of the NFL's most reliable signal-callers, this is the place.

Now, without further ado, our Week 5 pecking order:

Week 5 QB Power Rankings
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
His acrobatics are always a hoot, but he's also protecting the ball quite well compared to the start of last season. Mahomes truly operates as if he's playing another sport, taking any arm angle known to man to dish the ball out at the opportune time.
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
The biggest key for him, from now until the playoffs, is staying healthy. A bulldozer on the ground and a rocket through the air, he feels like a shoo-in to fight Mahomes for the AFC title. But that requires being smart with his own body.
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers QB
It's not been pretty in Green Bay, and it might stay that way for a while. But Rodgers is threading the needle when he needs to, single-handedly elevating a mid-level supporting cast. Imagine if they find a way to add a receiver at some point.
Tom Brady Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
With a banged-up line and banged-up receiving corps, Brady has not folded but rather stepped up, making all the throws to keep Tampa Bay afloat. Like Rodgers, he may not have the offense rolling until later, but his poise alone ensures the Bucs will stay alive. (+1)
Justin Herbert Los Angeles Chargers QB
The young gun has weathered the Chargers' injuries and defensive slip-ups, not to mention his own bruised ribs, to remain one of the most consistent, gifted pocket passers in the NFL. For now, Brady and Rodgers get the slight nod because of their clutch touch. (-1)
Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
He can't play defense, too, otherwise the Ravens might be undefeated. In a sloppy, rain-soaked Week 4 loss, Jackson still pulled a rabbit out of his hat by showcasing his unmatched speed from the pocket. He's a walking highlight reel.
Joe Burrow Cincinnati Bengals QB
Of the young QBs up top, he feels the most likely to climb upward. After a rough start to the year, Burrow's settling back in as a point guard, his quick release behind a slowly improving line ensuring Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins stay fed.
Jalen Hurts Philadelphia Eagles QB
With each passing week, Hurts further cements himself as the face of the franchise. One week he's plowing through contact at the goal line. Another he's airing it out on deep shots to A.J. Brown. He's quickly looking like the total package. (+2)
Matthew Stafford Los Angeles Rams QB
Throwing with a sore elbow behind a battered O-line, he's hurt the Rams as often as he's helped them when under pressure. But his track record suggests, with time and better health around him, he can still make a run. (-1)
Russell Wilson Denver Broncos QB
Russ had some of his best throws of the year against the Raiders in defeat. The entire offensive setup is still shaky, and he's relying too much on fourth-quarter heroics to mask it. Can they put it all together, and if so, when? (+1)
Kyler Murray Arizona Cardinals QB
Murray makes at least a few "wow" plays every game, either as a quick-footed scrambler or a tight-window thrower. But like Arizona, he's also very scattershot. The athleticism is there, but can you consistently trust it? (-2)
Kirk Cousins Minnesota Vikings QB
Cousins, who did just enough lacing it to his talented one-two punch at receiver to beat the Saints in London, is more like a 14th- or 15th-best starter, inflated by a dearth of clutch veterans after the elite up top.
Derek Carr Las Vegas Raiders QB
New week, same story: Carr's gusto and occasional crunch-time bullets will always keep his team scrappy, but he's too rarely the reason they are for real. He's got a massive test coming up against Mahomes and the Chiefs.
Ryan Tannehill Tennessee Titans QB
With Derrick Henry gaining steam as the workhorse once again, Tannehill has settled in, making enough timely throws to keep Tennessee atop the ugly AFC South. For better or worse, he's best served playing a background part. (+2)
Jimmy Garoppolo San Francisco 49ers QB
It's fitting he's right next to Tannehill, because functionally they are quite similar: make the plays in front of you, and stay out of the way otherwise. Jimmy G did his job in prime time in Week 4, allowing Deebo Samuel to do the heavy lifting. (+2)
Trevor Lawrence Jacksonville Jaguars QB
He's still an up-and-comer with lots of zip on the ball, but after five turnovers in rainy Philadelphia, he's still got a ways to go in terms of protecting the rock. (-2)
Jared Goff Detroit Lions QB
Back from the dead! While a good chunk of Goff's production has come from behind, he's made it work with any combo of pass targets, allowing the Lions to stay close in every one of their games despite a porous defense. Once again, Goff reminds us that, with a sturdy line, he can make all the throws. (+3)
Matt Ryan Indianapolis Colts QB
It's a multifaceted problem in Indianapolis: Ryan is aging and immobile, but he's also got a shoddy line and receiving corps. He's got the mental resolve to stand in there, but it'll probably get worse before it gets better with this setup.
Carson Wentz Washington Commanders QB
The same issues keep plaguing him, for what seems like the third straight year. Wentz can throw a pretty ball, but he's proven he cannot control his penchant to force the ball when things break down around him.
Geno Smith Seattle Seahawks QB
His resume suggests this is an anomaly, but each week as Seattle's QB1, he's been both efficient and dynamic. Among active regular starters, only Jalen Hurts has averaged more yards per attempt this year. (+2)
Teddy Bridgewater Miami Dolphins QB
Best suited coming off the bench, Teddy is more conservative than this year's version of Tua Tagovailoa, but it helps he's got Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle to feed.
Kenny Pickett Pittsburgh Steelers QB
Pittsburgh's hometown hero is officially in the saddle after replacing Mitch Trubisky. His unwavering pocket confidence will surely lead to more picks, but there's a lot to like about his ball placement, tough running and general awareness.
Cooper Rush Dallas Cowboys QB
He may not have Dak Prescott's physical gifts, but Rush has done almost everything right as a fill-in. Not only does he take care of the ball, but he also knows how to pick his spots floating it downfield. A truly impressive backup story. (+3)
Justin Fields Chicago Bears QB
At this point, the only reason Fields isn't a bottom-five starter here is because his sheer athleticism demands we account for his upside. No, the Bears haven't set him up well, but his efficiency through the air has been wholly unreliable. (-1)
Jacoby Brissett Cleveland Browns QB
There's a reason he's made a career out of being a backup. He's got an adequate arm and can be the placeholder for a run-first team, but he's simply not accurate enough to win over long periods of time. (-1)
Zach Wilson New York Jets QB
Fresh off rehab, Wilson was ugly but resilient in the Jets' upset of the Steelers. His athleticism is always apparent, but the question remains: can he complete the easy throws and make smart decisions?
Andy Dalton New Orleans Saints QB
With Jameis Winston still nursing a bad back, Dalton figures to remain under center after giving the Vikings a run for their money. For a start or three, you can do worse.
Baker Mayfield Carolina Panthers QB
With each game, the ex-Browns QB seems to drift closer to a benching. He misses on way too many throws to be a long-term answer, and the only reason he'll likely stay put (for now) is because Sam Darnold is hurt. (-3)
Marcus Mariota Atlanta Falcons QB
He's got the speed, and somehow, his offense has found the end zone more than expected. But there's no rhyme or reason to his work through the air, which counts for a lot in 2022.
Davis Mills Houston Texans QB
Lovie Smith's squad has actually been competitive all year. But Mills, who stood tall as a rookie in a bad spot, is struggling to control the ball when he absolutely must. (-3)
Bailey Zappe New England Patriots QB
The stocky rookie showed a lot of grit replacing Brian Hoyer against the Packers. He's likely to fill in for Mac Jones in Week 5, and another solid outing will confirm him as a promising No. 2 in New England.
Davis Webb New York Giants QB
Daniel Jones has a bad ankle in a run-first offense, and his backup, Tyrod Taylor, is concussed. That likely leaves Webb to fill in as Brian Daboll's emergency QB.