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.
How are the QBs ranked? We try to factor in both current standing and future upside. So a long resume doesn't always guarantee an edge over untapped potential, just as a cold streak doesn't always erase a history of success. At the end of the day, we're simply trying to sort the QBs based on 2021 value, both now and in the near future.
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Riser of the Week: Kyler Murray
Other quarterbacks had bigger jumps this week -- Taylor Heinicke and Zach Wilson among them. But Murray has catapulted himself basically to the front of the MVP race with another dual-threat showcase. We'd still trust Rodgers and Brady and a few others more than the Cardinals' youngster, but the margin is getting thinner by the week. He's got Arizona rolling as a true NFC contender.
Now, without further ado, let's get to the rest of our Week 5 rankings:
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
|Shredding the Eagles for five touchdowns looked way too easy, and he used his legs for a key first down as well. It's astounding how much he can do operating on autopilot. (+1)
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers QB
|Funny how quickly he and the Packers ' cruise-control dominance is now just a ho-hum affair around the NFL. (-1)
Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks QB
|He has to be better on third downs, but the magician keeps finding ways to extend plays when Seattle needs him most.
Tom Brady Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
|The rain (and/or Patriots defense) really got to him on Sunday night, but he stayed the course, leaned on the ground and made some tough plays down the stretch.
Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys QB
|In a league chock-full of star QB play right now, he's been maybe the steadiest and smoothest from the pocket.
Justin Herbert Los Angeles Chargers QB
|He stalled a bit halfway through their big win over the Raiders , but only after showcasing elite touch and accuracy to bury Vegas early. The Chargers are in good hands. (+1)
Kyler Murray Arizona Cardinals QB
|If he keeps it up, he'll go even higher. No one save for Lamar Jackson does as much damage with his legs, and he's also throwing it as well as he ever has. Arizona is gonna be a tough out all year. (+2)
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
|Who's threatening them in the East? Allen's been good but hasn't even had to be during Buffalo's last few outings, with the Bills blowing out Miami, Washington and Houston in consecutive weeks.
Matthew Stafford Los Angeles Rams QB
|He's still vital to Sean McVay's high-flying offense, but frustration set in early against the Cardinals, as he was just slightly off the mark for an important game. (-3)
Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
|Few QBs throw a prettier deep ball, and this time, he had help from Marquise Brown ! The big-play factor never dies with him.
Derek Carr Las Vegas Raiders QB
|A better game plan may have helped against L.A., with lateral movement too often a focus early on, but he's still slinging it with authority in crunch time. (+1)
Joe Burrow Cincinnati Bengals QB
|His Week 4 work came against the Jaguars , but he's been zipping it with confidence for most of the year. The ceiling has yet to be touched, and it's mighty high. (+3)
Kirk Cousins Minnesota Vikings QB
|Sunday's low-scoring loss against Cleveland wasn't all on him, by any means. But his limitations are far more apparent when the run game and pass protection aren't in his favor. (-2)
Ryan Tannehill Tennessee Titans QB
|It's been a roller coaster ride for him this year, with shaky protection, banged-up pass targets and an unpredictable defense putting more on his plate.
Baker Mayfield Cleveland Browns QB
|He's not killing the Browns lately, but he's also not helping as much as he could. Kevin Stefanski doesn't ask a ton here, so it would behoove Mayfield to clean up his act as the caretaker. (-2)
Sam Darnold Carolina Panthers QB
|Pressure finally got to Darnold at the tail end of a close one with Dallas, but the arrow is still pointing up, especially considering his success on the move. (+1)
Jalen Hurts Philadelphia Eagles QB
|Mental miscues are still plaguing him in some spots, but he kept pace with Patrick Mahomes for much of Sunday's game, taking a big step forward in efficiency. (+1)
Jameis Winston New Orleans Saints QB
|He did what was asked of him, which was enough to keep New Orleans in contention against the Giants . But the Saints aren't asking a ton, which suggests they've yet to trust him on a big workload. (+2)
Trey Lance San Francisco 49ers QB
|Kyle Shahanan says Jimmy Garoppolo could still play in Week 5, but don't count on it. Lance is still uneven in the pocket, but his mobility and downfield touch alone make him a high-upside play out of the gate.
Mac Jones New England Patriots QB
|He wasn't lighting it up against the Buccaneers, but he sure handled the moment well, going toe to toe with Tom Brady and putting the Patriots in a position to pull off the upset. (+1)
Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons QB
|He's looked more comfortable with each outing under Arthur Smith. Like Stafford in 2020, however, he feels a bit stuck on a team that's heading in a different long-term direction. (+1)
Carson Wentz Indianapolis Colts QB
|There's good and bad from his win over Miami: The good is he was solid, especially in the second half. The bad is that might be close to his ceiling working off multiple injuries and playing in the confines of Frank Reich's ideal role for him. (+1)
Jared Goff Detroit Lions QB
|He's been perfectly solid for a team that won't give up, but as is the case with the Lions, this just isn't gonna be his year. (+1)
Justin Fields Chicago Bears QB
|He looked much more comfortable rolling out and working off play-action, with David Montgomery assisting. Let's hope Damien Williams can be a similar security blanket, assuming Andy Dalton isn't back in the saddle. (+2)
Taylor Heinicke Washington Football Team QB
|Still not sure we'd trust him to deliver against good defenses on a consistent basis, but give him credit for battling. He's easily giving Washington as much as the team would get from Ryan Fitzpatrick. (+5)
Daniel Jones New York Giants QB
|The Giants might not be great, but he's been quietly solid most of the year. If they can figure out ways to keep highlighting his strengths, there could still be something here. (+3)
Zach Wilson New York Jets QB
|He's still got a ways to go, but man should his confidence be way up after basically having his way against the Titans, complete with a point-and-chuck-it bomb straight out of a recess game. (+5)
Trevor Lawrence Jacksonville Jaguars QB
|He did well going head to head with Joe Burrow in Week 4, albeit without any scores of his own. Let's hope his mettle isn't damaged by enduring the Urban Meyer saga.
Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers QB
|He's had a great career, but the Steelers are almost competitive in spite of his QB play. The arm is still there at times, but the movement and accuracy and decision-making is not. (-2)
Drew Lock Denver Broncos QB
|With Teddy Bridgewater down with a concussion, he could get a shot at redemption. Recklessness has been an issue, but if he can control the ball while taking a few shots here and there, Denver will be OK.
Jacoby Brissett Miami Dolphins QB
|We are seeing clearly why he's best served as a backup. The Dolphins' offense has been a nonstarter all year, but his extremely conservative approach isn't helping. (-6)
Davis Mills Houston Texans QB
|It's partly a byproduct of playing for the Texans and playing the Bills defense, but he looked over-matched every step of the way in his second career start. (-1)
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