Keytron Jordan / 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 for 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. This is why, for example, you might find Aaron Rodgers ranked ahead of Trey Lance after Week 1, even if the latter clearly has the better Opening Day performance. 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 1 pecking order:

Week 1 QB Power Rankings
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
In four years as a starter, he's averaged almost 38 touchdowns per season. The production is automatic. There's an inherent streakiness with someone so inclined to off-script play-making, but paired with Andy Reid in Kansas City, Mahomes remains the standard-bearer when it comes to contemporary, anything-goes quarterbacking. If you need a last-minute score, no one is better physically equipped to get it for you.
Tom Brady Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
A banged-up offensive line may test his ageless mechanics, but Brady is still a machine at 45. His arm has seemingly only gotten stronger since coming over from the Patriots , and no one has a bigger team-wide influence thanks to his reputation, preparation and vision. He just finds a way.
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers QB
Like Brady, he's only elevated his MVP qualities with age. Losing Davante Adams will require him to spread the ball around, but he's still got one of the most effortlessly accurate arms in football. You have to go back five years to find the last time he threw more than five picks in a season.
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
Everybody's favorite MVP pick, Allen is still prone to forcing throws or absorbing unnecessary hits as the biggest, toughest athletic package at the position, but he makes up for it with his cannon of an arm -- so strong that it can save the Bills ' entire week with a single deep ball.
Justin Herbert Los Angeles Chargers QB
If Allen and Mahomes are backyard gunslingers, then Herbert is the prototypical pocket passer who does everything right. At 24, he plays like he's 34, with a veteran feel for the game, except with some of the most impressive straight-line throwing power in today's NFL.
Joe Burrow Cincinnati Bengals QB
Durability is the biggest concern, considering he's missed seven games (and a summer of practice) in two years. But Joe Cool is the definition of an all-star NFL point guard, unfazed in the pocket while making quick decisions to feed play-makers like Ja'Marr Chase .
Russell Wilson Denver Broncos QB
For nine of his 10 seasons in Seattle, Wilson led winning teams with unmatched poise and elusiveness. He figures to recapture some of that magic in Denver, finally granted fresh scenery, but coming off an injury-plagued finish with the Seahawks, it's unclear just how much dual-threat MVP juice remains.
Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
Passing efficiency is the easiest recipe for big-game success, and Jackson is still hunting that. But as long as his lightning-quick legs are in order, he can single-handedly keep the Ravens in contention. He might be the league's best pure play-maker this side of Mahomes.
Matthew Stafford Los Angeles Rams QB
Without the Rams' all-star supporting cast, he's probably closer to a top-12 option, thanks largely to a penchant for ill-timed gambles. But everything else is there: the size, the gusto and the big-play arm that helped fuel Los Angeles' run to the Super Bowl.
Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys QB
Potentially endangered by Dallas' beat-up line, Dak does all the little things well, controlling the pocket and delivering crisp strikes. Like the Cowboys in general, however, his talent has yet to produce many late-season wins of substance.
Kyler Murray Arizona Cardinals QB
On talent alone, Murray might be a top-five QB, combining a rocket arm with positively jittery legs. But he's finished three straight seasons either hurt or in a slump, and the Cardinals ' setup and schedule don't necessarily bode well for a major step forward.
Derek Carr Las Vegas Raiders QB
Carr deserves plenty of props for enduring Raiders turmoil, and he's got all the tools -- grit, experience, proven efficiency -- to be a winner. Some of his worst days have come down the stretch, however, as he and Las Vegas struggle to come up big when it counts.
Kirk Cousins Minnesota Vikings QB
Joined at the hip to Derek Carr in these kinds of rankings, Cousins gets too much flak for how productive he is, topping 30 TD passes in three of his last four years. Still, for all his accuracy and underrated deep-ball affection, he's yet to elevate a team when the lights are brightest.
Matt Ryan Indianapolis Colts QB
Ryan has been far more serviceable than spectacular the last three years, though exiting the Falcons rebuild should rejuvenate his confidence. It's harder, however, to project the ceiling for a just-fine QB who, at 37, leans less on his arm and more on his knowledge of the game.
Jalen Hurts Philadelphia Eagles QB
The Eagles have given him all the pieces to emerge as the "guy." Now it's a matter of consistently winning through the air, even if primarily in the short area. At the very least, Hurts' running-back build and vision give him a high floor as a play-extender.
Ryan Tannehill Tennessee Titans QB
The Jimmy Garoppolo of 2022, Tannehill is a well-liked vet who's capitalized on monster ground games to guide playoff bids. He can win. The "it" factor is rarely there, however, which makes Malik Willis ' presence on the bench that is much more enticing.
Trevor Lawrence Jacksonville Jaguars QB
This is mostly about projection, but it was just over a year ago when Lawrence's all-around skill set was touted as generational for a QB. Doug Pederson's mentorship should do wonders for his confidence and pocket presence in year two.
Trey Lance San Francisco 49ers QB
Like Trevor Lawrence, everything about his physical skill set points to a big second-year leap. Sure, he'll need to polish the passing to further earn Kyle Shanahan's trust, but his natural athleticism should make him a weekly threat in a prominent ground game.
Mac Jones New England Patriots QB
Prayers up for Mac now that his offensive support staff is headlined by castoff defensive and special teams coaches. In all seriousness, Jones is exactly the kind of precision thrower Bill Belichick wants for an old-school approach. But can he win a game on his own?
Jameis Winston New Orleans Saints QB
A true wild card, Winston appeared to control his own big-play hunger before going down in 2021, and he's still got impressive deep-ball touch, but the former Bucs castoff hasn't stayed healthy or free of turnover sprees for years.
Tua Tagovailoa Miami Dolphins QB
New coach Mike McDaniel will undoubtedly get the most out of Tua, boosting his confidence and tailoring the offense to his ultra-accurate short-area passing. But will that be enough to prove the young QB and his conservative approach are franchise material?
Carson Wentz Washington Commanders QB
The surface-level talents remain: big size, splashy arm, a will to win. With each passing year, however, he cements himself as one of the NFL's most volatile QBs, too often ensnared by an inability to make -- or take -- the easy throws.
Baker Mayfield Carolina Panthers QB
A perfectly respectable trial-run QB, Mayfield has all the moxie and throwing power to be a playoff starter. He also comes with medical baggage and a tendency to get sloppy when things break down around him. If he's not the answer in Carolina, he should at least make the Panthers more exciting.
Justin Fields Chicago Bears QB
The physical package suggests he belongs in the Trevor Lawrence-Trey Lance vicinity, but his size and speed combo wasn't enough to elevate a bad Bears team in 2021, and Chicago isn't exactly setting him up to develop in 2022.
Davis Mills Houston Texans QB
Standing tall amid porous circumstances is one thing; growing as a reliable starter is another. Mills appears to have the requisite composure and body type to emerge as a true building block, but he has to choose his spots better on another rebuilding roster.
Mitchell Trubisky Pittsburgh Steelers QB
Decision-making hasn't always been his strong suit, though the Bears didn't do him many favors late in his Chicago career. As a bridge to Kenny Pickett , however, with enough mobility to survive Pittsburgh's transitioning line, you can do a lot worse.
Jared Goff Detroit Lions QB
Behind a sturdy line, he can deliver tight spirals in tight spaces, teasing top-15 efficiency. But he's only ever teased elite production when the rest of his offense is firing on all cylinders, too often folding in the face of pressure.
Jacoby Brissett Cleveland Browns QB
The irony of Cleveland replacing Case Keenum with Brissett as Deshaun Watson's interim replacement: Keenum, with all his freewheeling tendencies, is actually the more efficient QB. Brissett has held up fine in emergency situations, but "fine" has always been his ceiling.
Geno Smith Seattle Seahawks QB
He hasn't been a full-time starter since 2014, when he went 3-10 for the Jets . Since then, he's mellowed out as a play-it-safe option for Pete Carroll, whose desire to lean on the run was reiterated by his choice of Smith over the gunslinging Drew Lock .
Daniel Jones New York Giants QB
The hope is that new coach Brian Daboll will be able to maximize Jones' evident athleticism as more of a dual threat, but once again, the mistake-ridden starter has been saddled with a relatively depleted supporting cast.
Zach Wilson New York Jets QB
Wilson's athleticism lends to his freestyling abilities, but he's struggled to build confidence, or a rhythm, against NFL defenses. And now he enters year two battling an injury that could enable Joe Flacco to keep emerging off the bench.
Marcus Mariota Atlanta Falcons QB
As a runner, Mariota still offers plenty, especially reunited with Arthur Smith. But he's not been consistently healthy or productive as a passer for a long time.