CBS Sports illustration (Mike Meredith)

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 Tua Tagovailoa after Week 1, even though the latter had the more productive 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 2 pecking order:

Week 2 QB Power Rankings
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
We figured No. 15 would be just fine without Tyreek Hill. We didn't count on him being ... better? For any flak he gets regarding his freewheeling style, Mahomes sure is automatic as a point guard at the position, too. He could take a week off and still lead the NFL in touchdown passes.
Tom Brady Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
The ageless wonder wasn't perfect against the Cowboys in Week 1, but his arm is all there, as is the crunch-time poise. He had no trouble picking on Trevon Diggs, or whomever, when Tampa Bay really needed to put its foot on the gas.
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers QB
Sorry, but we're not condemning A-Rod after one bad loss. You all saw 2021, right? Rodgers was actually much better compared to last year's Week 1 dud, and he's still one of the best precision throwers; he just has no reliable help downfield.
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
Physically speaking, there's no reason he shouldn't be neck and neck with Mahomes (and maybe the guy below him here) for the MVP race. The question is, can his aggressive style, both as a passer and runner, hold up again over 17 games?
Justin Herbert Los Angeles Chargers QB
Anyone good to start petitioning for the nickname "L.A. Laser" here? Herbert manages to combine accuracy with elite zip, and the only reason he isn't higher is because the old guys have been doing it longer, on bigger stages.
Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
Yes, he picked on the Jets, but too often we forget how effortless Jackson can hurl a deep ball, with that flick of a wrist. Even better: he's yet to unleash his top weapon, those electric legs. ( +2)
Joe Burrow Cincinnati Bengals QB
Nothing will remind the world of your intermittent turnover sprees like the Steelers. Burrow is still that dude, with resilience as a top trait. But he does throw a tad too many picks considering he's best suited to own the short-area game. (-1)
Russell Wilson Denver Broncos QB
His Broncos debut is mildly tarnished in the public eye by Denver's inexplicable decision-making to close Week 1. His actual performance was solid, if unspectacular: some nice lofty deep balls, a few sack escapes, but not an awful lot to show for it. (-1)
Kirk Cousins Minnesota Vikings QB
For real. He was underrated before, but uncorked in Kevin O'Connell's contemporary attack, Cousins was remarkably efficient in a big win over the Packers. The big-game questions will remain, but he's still got such a feel for timed strikes. (+4)
Matthew Stafford Los Angeles Rams QB
We're not gonna sell Stafford just because of an ugly debut, but his penchant for untimely forced throws has been an issue his entire career. The Rams are hoping his elbow is strong enough to rebuild confidence on deep shots. (-1)
Kyler Murray Arizona Cardinals QB
New year, same issue in Arizona: while Murray still possesses dynamic dual-threat abilities, his offense can't find or sustain momentum. Into year three, are we sure Kyler and Kliff Kingsbury actually function well together?
Derek Carr Las Vegas Raiders QB
Gutsy as he is, always capable of storming back late, Carr is also prone to turnover streaks if he tries too hard to be the gunslinger he's not. That doomed the Raiders against their superior rivals in Week 1.
Jalen Hurts Philadelphia Eagles QB
If A.J. Brown stays healthy, he might not have to try hard at all to excel as a passer. Hurts' legs remain a quietly lethal weapon, saving the Eagles on countless drives in an imperfect but promising rout of Detroit. (+2)
Matt Ryan Indianapolis Colts QB
How fitting, that in his debut as a thoroughly middle-of-the-road veteran for a Jonathan Taylor-led offense, Ryan's team literally splits Week 1 down the middle, tying with the Texans.
Ryan Tannehill Tennessee Titans QB
Good enough to stave off Malik Willis for another week or three. Not good enough to guide a safe lead against the New York Giants. Tannehill feels like one of the most likely QBs to stay planted in the middle tier. (+1)
Carson Wentz Washington Commanders QB
Wentz is enjoying the largest jump of the week after showcasing some of the same early-career magic that sold Philly fans. Yes, he still coughed up the ball multiple times, but his play-making bent was the biggest reason Washington stole an important Week 1 win. (+6)
Trevor Lawrence Jacksonville Jaguars QB
We're still dealing mostly with projection here, for Lawrence still isn't connecting with his targets as often as you'd hope. You can't teach his natural arm talent, though, so let's give Doug Pederson some more time.
Tua Tagovailoa Miami Dolphins QB
One of the bigger risers of the week, Tua got the job done routing the Patriots, wisely feeding Tyreek Hill. The real question, as always, is whether he can grow as an explosive passer. Because it's very possible the Pats just might be bad. (+3)
Jameis Winston New Orleans Saints QB
After a flat start against Atlanta, the real Winston popped off in the second half, breaking out his signature cannon for some beautiful downfield shots. Now can he stay healthy and out of trouble as the teams get tougher? (+1)
Mac Jones New England Patriots QB
Prayers up for Mac and his sore back, captaining an offense run by Matt Patricia and Bill Belichick's best castoff friends. Jones still possesses playoff-caliber accuracy, but it doesn't mean much if the rest of the offense is stuck in mud. (-1)
Trey Lance San Francisco 49ers QB
The sloppy conditions surely hurt his chances of debuting as an improved passer in Week 1, but he's still got to be more polished when throwing. Fortunately, Lance still has both a high floor and ceiling as a natural runner for Kyle Shanahan. (-3)
Justin Fields Chicago Bears QB
Like Lance, he's still iffy through the air, but his natural athleticism should always give the Bears a fighting chance. He showed some nice grit coming through late to upset the 49ers. (+2)
Davis Mills Houston Texans QB
He remains the most poised and productive of the 2021 rookie QBs, but we're still willing to gamble on the other guys' athleticism. For now. At least Mills makes Houston competitive. (+2)
Baker Mayfield Carolina Panthers QB
It turns out he just might be a feisty but mercurial starter. Baker's Panthers debut had lots of ugly but lots of fight, especially down the stretch, which sounds pretty familiar.
Mitchell Trubisky Pittsburgh Steelers QB
He played the Ben Roethlisberger role quite well in his Pittsburgh debut, staying just enough out of the way to ensure the defense could lead a victory. (+1)
Geno Smith Seattle Seahawks QB
One of the coolest cats of Week 1, Geno embraced the moment as the Seahawks' prime-time starter. We can't expect him to be nearly flawless like he was against Denver, but he showed some nifty pocket movement in his debut as Russell Wilson's successor. (+3)
Jared Goff Detroit Lions QB
He started dicing up the Eagles' defense once their Week 1 game almost got out of hand, and yes he still throws some pretty tight throws. They just rarely come when the game is within reach and the pressure is on.
Daniel Jones New York Giants QB
His two TD passes helped the Giants upset the Titans, but the more telling revelation from his debut under Brian Daboll might've been Daboll's blatant frustration over his pick. (+2)
Marcus Mariota Atlanta Falcons QB
Props to him for almost stealing one from the Saints. But the track record suggests we shouldn't expect Mariota to play a full year if he's running as often as he does. (+3)
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Joe Flacco New York Jets QB
Robert Saleh is already entertaining calls for Mike White to replace him as Zach Wilson's injury fill-in. Apologies to the Jets fans.
Jacoby Brissett Cleveland Browns QB
The Browns won in Week 1, but mostly in spite of their backup-turned-interim-starter, who barely averaged four yards per attempt while completing just over half his throws.
Cooper Rush Dallas Cowboys QB
Dallas fans are collectively praying for Dak Prescott's healing as we speak.