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Mike Meredith graphic

As goes the quarterback, so goes the team. It's not always true in the NFL, but it usually is. And it makes sense: In a passing league, the passers are like royalty -- the biggest influences on whether a team is destined more for a Super Bowl title or a No. 1 draft pick.

It's with that in mind that we come to you with the most important pecking order outside of traditional team power rankings: QB Power Rankings. Consider this your cut-and-dry guide to the best and worst of the NFL's signal-callers -- a weekly 1-to-32 rundown of every starter under center, now condensed to focus solely on the remaining playoff QBs.

We try to factor in their current standing, their history of success and their future upside, but it's probably simpler to think of the rankings as a general answer to this question: Which QB would we rather have right now, not only for this week, but for the rest of the 2020 season?

Now, without further ado, let's get to the Divisional Round rankings:

Divisional Round QB Rankings
1
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers QB
He's not the most talented QB on this list, but he's the smartest, and he's playing some of the best ball of his career. Rodgers is not immune to postseason hiccups (see: 2019), but boy is it hard to bet against him after all he accomplished this year. The guy oozes poise in the pocket and headlines Green Bay's killer attack, which somehow opens up wide-open space for his targets on seemingly every drive. This version of Rodgers can take the Pack back to the Super Bowl. And even if he goes down, he's going to go down swinging.

Last week: 1

2
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
It feels like forever since we've seen Mahomes suit up, but the gut feeling is he'll remind us pretty quickly that he's the most athletically gifted passer in the game. His 2020 as a whole felt generally lackadaisical despite the gaudy numbers, and that just speaks to his unmatched talent. Now he gets a vulnerable Browns team at home after tons of rest. Mahomes can sniff another championship bid already; it's a safe bet that Andy Reid will trust his arm to guide Kansas City forward.

Last week: 2

3
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
The Bills didn't waltz past the Colts in the opening round, but not because Allen was off his game. Things got scary for a second when he nearly lost a fumble that could've aided Indy's comeback attempt, but he was otherwise his MVP-caliber self -- a bona fide play-maker whose improvisation and effortless deep balls were a sight to behold. Who would've predicted, after the 2019 postseason, that Allen would be a stone-cold lock in the top three playoff QBs a year later?

Last week: 3

4
Tom Brady Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
Were the Bucs always pretty in their wild-card win over Washington? No. But Brady's arm has looked especially lively down the stretch. His chemistry with pretty much everyone -- especially Antonio Brown -- has also been more apparent. That spells trouble for his opponents, and that's not even mentioning his sterling playoff record. New Orleans won't be an easy out, if this year has been any indication, but should Brady top the Saints this time, he'll have yet another Super Bowl within reach.

Last week: 5

5
Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
So much for an inability to win in the playoffs. Look, anyone who's watched Jackson for even a few plays knows this kid is too electric to write off -- no matter the circumstances. He may be prompted to flaunt that arm a little more while matching up with Allen and the Bills, but make no mistake: If the game is on the line, and he has an opening, his un-coachable speed will keep Baltimore in the mix. It'd really be something to see he and Mahomes go head to head in an AFC title showdown. 

Last week: 6

6
Drew Brees New Orleans Saints QB
It all comes down to this. Brees and the Saints obviously have a decent road in front of them if they want to capture another Lombardi, but this rematch with Brady and the Bucs just feels like the pinnacle of the season, which very well could be Brees' last in the NFL. He could easily be slotted at No. 5 in place of Jackson, because his pocket presence and mid-range touch remains intact. But if he's required to play shootout with Brady, does he have enough in the tank to unleash a monster game?

Last week: 8

7
Baker Mayfield Cleveland Browns QB
Browns fans should not take this ranking as a slight. There are simply too many proven QBs still alive. Baker, for his part, has done a tremendous job solidifying his place in Cleveland as a feisty leader and tempered passer -- the perfect captain for a run-heavy, grind-it-out Browns team. Ask him to make big-time throws, and he won't back down, even if he lacks the steady downfield touch of a Rodgers or the freakish arm talent of a Jackson or Mahomes. The guy is a fighter. 

Last week: 9

8
Jared Goff Los Angeles Rams QB
Remember when he started a Super Bowl? Good times. Goff's team deserves credit for upsetting Seattle, but he didn't exactly silence the critics in relief of John Wolford. Yes, he's still recovering from thumb surgery, but his passing arc just doesn't bode well for cold Lambeau, let alone a deep playoff run. Don't be surprised, in the event Wolford is healthy enough to suit up against Green Bay, if Sean McVay sits Goff once more, this time for outright performance issues.

Last week: Unranked