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've ranked 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. To showcase which ones we'd rather trust with everything on the line. Now, we're sorting the best remaining players at the position in the march to the Super Bowl. Here's our latest pecking order entering the divisional round:

Playoff QB Power Rankings
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
This year's presumptive MVP, Mahomes has never failed to advance to the AFC Championship game in his four years as Andy Reid's starter. The numbers support him as an early-playoff machine: In his opening postseason matchups, he's thrown a combined 11 TDs and just one INT. Although he spent Super Wild Card Weekend on a bye, he also enters having thrown two-plus TDs in four of his last five games, excelling (as usual) as the NFL's standard for off-script, crunch-time heroics.
Joe Burrow Cincinnati Bengals QB
The biggest -- and perhaps only -- knock against Burrow right now is the protection in front of him; with left tackle Jonah Williams the latest starting lineman to go down, his ability to make quick decisions could be tested to a different degree. Fortunately, Burrow's strong suit is distributing precision darts from the pocket. What he lacks in the play-extending pizzaz of guys like Mahomes and Josh Allen, he tends to offset with smart reads when it matters most.
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
We're probably not talking enough about Allen's reversion to scattershot tendencies over the last two years; remarkable as he remains, slinging it across the yard and bulldozing defenders on the run, he's now turned the ball over 40 times in his last 36 games, including the playoffs. You don't win titles by surrendering possessions that often. Even so, the upside of his physical gifts is impossible to deny; only Mahomes has a better knack for changing a game in a single heave.
Jalen Hurts Philadelphia Eagles QB
Hurts says he's "feeling good" after using the bye to rest his healing shoulder, but it's a mystery as to how close he is to full form, even a month removed from his injury. If he's up to speed, then the Eagles should be in the title hunt, for only Mahomes was a more efficient QB this year. Hurts can win in so many ways -- as a bruising ball carrier, a downfield attacker. As a bonus, he's a genuinely unshakeable leader. Time will tell if his body's on the same page.
Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys QB
The QB who diced up the Buccaneers to close Super Wild Card Weekend is the peak version of Prescott, and he comes out every few weeks -- a masterclass in pocket awareness and mid-range strikes. That Dak, with Dallas' weapons out wide and on defense, is capable of the team's first NFC title bid since 1995. The concern is that an antsier Prescott -- prone to picks and even more near-picks -- will return when the lights get brighter and the stakes get higher.
Trevor Lawrence Jacksonville Jaguars QB
The Jaguars' miraculous upset of the Chargers was a microcosm of Lawrence's young career: His first go at it, in that first half, was populated with rushed decisions and tight-window gambles to compensate for an early deficit. Humbled and encouraged by Doug Pederson at the break, he returned to showcase his laser arm with passion, galvanizing his teammates in the process. The physical tools are all there; if he's a bit steadier from start to finish, look out.
Daniel Jones New York Giants QB
No. 7 doesn't feel high enough for a guy who's made momentous strides as the composed, smart, slippery point guard of Brian Daboll's scrappy contender. Yes, the Vikings have a porous "D," but to go on the road and upset a 13-win team, outdueling Kirk Cousins with both his arm and legs, and confirm New York as a turnaround story, well, it shows this guy is a different animal than in years past. The worry is that he's yet to truly air it out against elite pass defenses.
Brock Purdy San Francisco 49ers QB
This may come across as disrespectful to 49ers fans, who've watched the rookie seamlessly take over as Kyle Shanahan's signal-caller and inject a veteran-level flare to perhaps the NFC's top contender. And no doubt, Purdy deserves props; his poise and clean release to feed San Francisco's playmakers has him on the fast track to opening 2023 as the QB1. But much of his success stems from having easily separated targets, and Shanahan admitted the youngster was a bit jumpy to start his playoff debut. His inexperience could play a factor as the opponents get tougher.