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 6 pecking order:

Week 6 QB Power Rankings
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
Travis Kelce said it right when he called his QB the "Houdini of our era." No matter the date, time or opponent, he finds a way to deliver, even if it means getting himself out of trouble. Don't discount his title chances amid all the Bills hype.
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
When's the last time someone made the Steelers defense look not only overmatched but disinterested? As long as he stays healthy, his ridiculously effortless deep ball should propel Buffalo to the playoff run everyone's projecting.
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers QB
Among active regular starters, he ranks fifth in completion percentage this year. The problem has been an almost total lack of downfield success. Imagine if they could find a way to add a proven threat to his scattershot supporting cast.
Tom Brady Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
He and Rodgers' numbers -- and team situations -- are remarkably similar. Things are still too sluggish as a whole, but Brady on his own remains a pinpoint thrower in crunch time, with all the IQ to elevate a hurting receiving corps.
Justin Herbert Los Angeles Chargers QB
It's not great that his biggest adversary sometimes feels like his own coach, but Herbert has played his part as well as expected. Operating without a ton of deep shots, he's the prototype for younger pocket passers.
Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
He and their uninspiring receiving corps share the blame for an inefficient aerial attack. But the guy is on pace for his third career 1,000-yard rushing season. As long as he's upright, his mobility will keep Baltimore in the hunt.
Joe Burrow Cincinnati Bengals QB
Somebody get this man a more creative play-caller, if not a sturdier line. Burrow is built to play point guard on a well-oiled machine, but instead he's still having to force too many throws to make up for Cincinnati's fundamentals, or lack thereof.
Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys QB
With the Eagles on tap in prime time, now feels like the right time for Prescott to reclaim the QB1 job from interim Cooper Rush . Can he control the ball the way Rush did, playing it simple? Typically, he's best at doing all the little things well.
Jalen Hurts Philadelphia Eagles QB
Hurts called his Week 5 performance a letdown, even as the Eagles improved to 5-0. He's certainly raised his own standard, thriving as both a bruising ball-carrier and confident downfield arm. An underrated key: staying healthy. (-1)
Matthew Stafford Los Angeles Rams QB
He's not even been close to top-10 production this year, but that's mostly due to the Rams ' deteriorating line. The penchant for untimely forced throws is simply magnified. Getting him another trusted receiver would surely help. (-1)
Kyler Murray Arizona Cardinals QB
Once again, we're playing the "is it Kyler, or is it Kliff?" game after another mercurial performance from Kingsbury's Cardinals offense. It's the same story: Murray has video-game athleticism, but there's no rhythm in his game.
Russell Wilson Denver Broncos QB
You can see from the QBs in this region that there's a steep drop-off after the elite signal-callers. Russ is still flashing crunch-time touch, but his pocket awareness and general accuracy are verging on Tim Tebow levels. (-2)
Kirk Cousins Minnesota Vikings QB
You might be surprised to know that his numbers are not nearly as efficient or explosive as in recent years, even as Kevin O'Connell's squad sits at 4-1. Count on him to be streaky, both with head-scratching picks and laser-precise darts. (-1)
Derek Carr Las Vegas Raiders QB
Every year we watch as he fights and claws his way into contention against upper-echelon counterparts like Mahomes and the Chiefs, only to fall short. It's representative of he and the Raiders: feisty but too inconsistent. (-1)
Jimmy Garoppolo San Francisco 49ers QB
His job in San Francisco is to stay out of Kyle Shanahan's way, essentially. And so far, he's done a solid job of just that. Just think how seamlessly we've all accepted his return to the starting lineup for what now looks like a legit contender.
Ryan Tannehill Tennessee Titans QB
The Garoppolo of the AFC, Tannehill goes as Derrick Henry does, and right now, that means onward and upward. He's offering mid-tier production for an offense built on controlling the ball and wearing opponents down. (-2)
Geno Smith Seattle Seahawks QB
The longer he's stayed under center in Seattle, the harder it's become to dismiss his poise and production. The ex-Jets flop is one of the most efficient QBs in the game right now, averaging over 8 yards per attempt despite trailing a lot. (+3)
Trevor Lawrence Jacksonville Jaguars QB
The former No. 1 pick has taken a step forward in his overall development under Doug Pederson, but he's still struggling to protect the ball, totaling 10 turnovers during the Jaguars ' 2-3 start. (-2)
Jared Goff Detroit Lions QB
He is who he thought he was? Goff's lineup has been hampered by injuries of late, but he reverted to poor decision-making against the Patriots ' stingy "D." The guy can rifle it when he's got time, but can he be trusted amid trouble? (-2)
Carson Wentz Washington Commanders QB
Wrong place, wrong time, wrong player. Wentz is getting no help from his line or his coach, who threw him under the bus this week, but he's also too impatient a gunslinger to adapt for the dire circumstances. (-1)
Kenny Pickett Pittsburgh Steelers QB
At least he showed fight when nobody else did against the Bills. It'll be tough to evaluate the rookie as Pittsburgh trudges toward more overhaul, but you've gotta respect the instant gravitas he brings to the pocket. (+1)
Daniel Jones New York Giants QB
Brian Daboll may or may not have his long-term QB here, but he's sure as heck getting the most out of the former first-rounder. Jones' legs are finally on full display, and he's willingly taken a back seat to Saquon Barkley and their "D."
Matt Ryan Indianapolis Colts QB
What do you get when you mix an aging, declining, immobile QB with a declining O-line and lackluster receiving corps? Whatever it was you saw on "Thursday Night Football" against Denver. He'd at least be top-15ish on a real contender. (-5)
Andy Dalton New Orleans Saints QB
Jameis Winston may or may not be back in the saddle following ankle and back issues, but Dalton's been steady enough as a spot starter to warrant another look. Just don't count on him controlling the ball over the long haul. (+3)
Zach Wilson New York Jets QB
The Jets are 2-0 since his return from injury, even though he's hardly put his stamp on the passing game. We're still willing to buy into his natural athleticism, but let's see him string together a few more performances.
Justin Fields Chicago Bears QB
He seems to be making small strides despite barely throwing the ball to open the year, but let's see him go two straight weeks completing more than 50 percent of his passes. To be fair, again, his setup remains bleh. (-2)
Bailey Zappe New England Patriots QB
Why rush Mac Jones back when Zappe, similarly built to feed off the ground game with short-area strikes, is doing the job fine? It doesn't seem out of the question that Bill Belichick would ride the hot hand here. (+4)
Jacoby Brissett Cleveland Browns QB
It's somewhat astounding how inefficient Brissett is throwing the ball on one of the most run-heavy, ball-control offenses in the NFL. He's got the arm and the experience, but the "it" factor has never emerged.
Marcus Mariota Atlanta Falcons QB
Good for him, shepherding a surprisingly competitive Falcons team on basically his scrambling ability alone. But you just cannot sustain success in the NFL if you can't move the ball through the air with confidence or accuracy.
P.J. Walker Carolina Panthers QB
For all the intrigue he incites coming off the bench for multiple failed starters in Carolina, Walker has never translated his short-lived XFL stardom to the NFL, where he's been a true 50-50 passer in extensive action.
Skylar Thompson Miami Dolphins QB
The rookie seventh-rounder lit it up throwing downfield in the preseason, which would suggest a potential strong debut in place of the injured Tua Tagovailoa and Teddy Bridgewater , with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle at his disposal.
Davis Mills Houston Texans QB
The Texans are staying competitive under Lovie Smith almost in spite of Mills, whose best quality in recent weeks has been handing the ball to Dameon Pierce . (-2)