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Mike Meredith / CBS Sports

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.

Each year the limits of aerial production are tested, and this season appears to be no exception. 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 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 2020?

Now, without further ado, let's get to the Week 8 rankings:

Week 7 QB Power Rankings
1
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
Sorry, Seahawks fans, but there's no reason any team would take any QB other than Mahomes right now. We're not talking enough about the fact he's up to 25 TDs and just one INT. Don't look now, but the MVP race is still open.   

Last week: 2

2
Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks QB
Make no mistake: Wilson is still an MVP candidate with some of the best pocket poise in the game. But he's now thrown five interceptions in the last three weeks. He'll always give you a shot, but lately, he's given opponents a few of them, too.    

Last week: 1

3
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers QB
Don't miss the fact, while debating Mahomes and Wilson atop the list, that A-Rod has held firm in the top three for pretty much the whole season. This guy is playing like a QB bound for a Super Bowl. His numbers even rival those of Mahomes.    

Last week: 3

4
Kyler Murray Arizona Cardinals QB
It's unclear if the Cardinals are fully ready for the big stage (and by big stage, we mean a deep playoff run). But one thing is very clear: Murray has the tools to beat anyone. How long until he's a consensus better dual threat than Lamar Jackson?   

Last week: 4

5
Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers QB
Ben still hasn't unleashed a monster game on us, and his Steelers are somehow still quiet for an unbeaten team. But look at the numbers. What he's lacked in huge plays and league-leading accuracy, he's made up for with an ultra-steady efficiency.   

Last week: 5

6
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Drew Brees New Orleans Saints QB
Count us among those who prematurely declared Brees' arm on life support earlier this year. Few QBs are throwing with his touch right now, and he's also endured a shuffling supporting cast. He's been really good, and the Saints look alive again.   

Last week: 8

7
Deshaun Watson Houston Texans QB
The Texans aren't going anywhere anytime soon, but boy do they still have a prize under center. Watson could stand to be more consistent, but he's excelled on the big plays through the air this year, even after DeAndre Hopkins' departure.   

Last week: 6

8
Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
If Jackson is going to be a minimalist as a passer and rely even more on his legs, that's fine. He's still crazy explosive -- a walking highlight reel as a rusher. It's just hard to look at his 2019 breakout and feel like he's progressing as a total package.

Last week: 9

9
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
If Allen can be just a little bit more like the QB we saw against the Seahawks than the one we saw for weeks prior, the Bills are in great shape. He seems pretty set in this boom-or-bust mode, with the upside outweighing the potential for fatal errors.

Last week: 12

10
Justin Herbert Los Angeles Chargers QB
Yes, you're reading this right. The Chargers find new ways to lose every week, but that's not on Herbert, who's been downright electrifying with his rocket arm. Who said this kid wasn't ready for the NFL? He's got everything you want in a franchise QB.

Last week: 13

11
Derek Carr Las Vegas Raiders QB
Carr has been a little more hit or miss than earlier in the year, when he led the NFL in completion percentage. But you have to love the way he's still slinging it downfield. Who knows if Vegas is for real, but he's keeping them in the mix.

Last week: 11

12
Ryan Tannehill Tennessee Titans QB
Tannehill sitting outside the top 10 is not an indictment on him, but rather a sign of how much good QB play there's been in 2020. He needs to start faster down the stretch, but the Titans are still getting safe, steady production here.

Last week: 10

13
Tom Brady Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
Brady is our biggest mover of the week, sliding down six spots after that atrocious loss to New Orleans. There's no doubt he's better than he was on Sunday night, but goodness, with his weaponry, there's no excuse to just be giving the ball away. 

Last week: 7

14
Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons QB
His solid stretch under Raheem Morris has helped even out mediocre numbers. Ryan's mostly been the same guy all year, though: Elite on occasion, good most of the time, but not necessarily the guy who's going to overcome dire circumstances.

Last week: 14

15
Teddy Bridgewater Carolina Panthers QB
The longer Teddy puts these kinds of performances on record, the more Matt Rhule will have to think long and hard about making him an even longer-term option. This guy can win with the Panthers. Imagine if he got even more help in 2021.

Last week: 15

16
Joe Burrow Cincinnati Bengals QB
Burrow's got a huge test upcoming against the Steelers. No one will fault him if he can't get much going against Pittsburgh's front, but he's got the fight to make it close. With better protection in the future, he's still on track to be a star.  

Last week: 16

17
Kirk Cousins Minnesota Vikings QB
So long as Dalvin Cook keeps rolling as the centerpiece of their offense, the Vikings can rest easy knowing games aren't in Kirk's hands. That reaffirms what we knew: Cousins is solid, but you'd better not rely on him to singlehandedly take over.   

Last week: 20

18
Carson Wentz Philadelphia Eagles QB
Numbers-wise, Wentz has been much worse than No. 18, but you're still taking his grit and big-play ability over most bottom-tier QBs. Can he finally cut out the turnovers? Or is he entrenched in this do-or-die mindset? Philly needs him to be smarter. 

Last week: 17

19
Jared Goff Los Angeles Rams QB
After a week of rest, Goff should be primed for a confidence-booster against a bad Seattle defense. But if he stumbles, it's time for real concern. After a really efficient start to the year, he's too often reverted to his panicky ways in the pocket.  

Last week: 18

20
Tua Tagovailoa Miami Dolphins QB
We've got a feeling he's going to keep rising up the board. Miami hasn't needed him to be Superman in his first two starts, but he at least looks the part. As the playoffs draw closer, he's got the skills and IQ to make noise.

Last week: 23

21
Baker Mayfield Cleveland Browns QB
If Mayfield can't get it going out of the bye against Houston, you have to wonder if Kevin Stefanski might consider a temporary switch to Case Keenum. The key for him, with Nick Chubb back, will be managing the ball as he did early in the season.

Last week: 22

22
Matthew Stafford Detroit Lions QB
If it feels like Stafford has been out of it for most of this year, well, that's because he admittedly has. Whether justified or not, though, he's not been a great QB. The big arm is still in there, but the decision-making has been far too erratic.

Last week: 21

23
Philip Rivers Indianapolis Colts QB
Is Rivers washed, or not? That's the question after Indy got routed by Baltimore. Granted, the Ravens have a tough "D," but if the Colts want to make a run, they can't always be so dependent on their own defense.

Last week: 19

24
Nick Foles Chicago Bears QB
It tuns out that going to Foles over Mitchell Trubisky has mostly just extended the Bears' reliance on unpredictable QB play. His aggressiveness makes Chicago a tough out sometimes, but it also exacerbates some poor game-planning from Matt Nagy.

Last week: 24

25
Cam Newton New England Patriots QB
Give him credit for battling back against the Jets with a no-name receiving corps, but does anyone think Newton looks even remotely dangerous right now? Every yard is a battle for him, whether because of his supporting cast or his own health. 

Last week: 26

26
Daniel Jones New York Giants QB
Sunday's win over Washington feels like an anomaly, in that Jones avoided turning the ball over for once. But we know the arm talent is there. If he can pull out a win over the Eagles in Week 10, he'll earn a ton of respect in that locker room. 

Last week: 27

27
Drew Lock Denver Broncos QB
Is it too early to start second-guessing John Elway's commitment to build around this young man? Lock plays hard and is also working with a young roster, but his mistakes have been pretty big since returning from injury. 

Last week: 25

28
Alex Smith Washington Football Team QB
He's probably the Comeback Player of the Year favorite just for getting back on the field, and maybe a full week of prep will help him cut down on the turnovers. But this still feels like a low-upside solution for Washington.  

Last week: Unranked

29
Andy Dalton Dallas Cowboys QB
He's not nearly as bad as he looked before going down with a concussion, but Dallas will be hard-pressed not to consider a return to Garrett Gilbert if he can't manufacture some splash plays coming out of the bye.

Last week: Unranked

30
Jake Luton Jacksonville Jaguars QB
At this point, it almost feels like a long shot that Gardner Minshew will even get his job back. Luton was by no means perfect in his starting debut, but he was lively enough to take things to the wire.  

Last week: 31

31
Nick Mullens San Francisco 49ers QB
If the Niners sported a healthier supporting cast around him, maybe this would be a different story. But the reality is neither Mullens nor Jimmy Garoppolo are capable of lifting this team out of its slide. That's on Kyle Shanahan and the ground game.

Last week: 30

32
Sam Darnold New York Jets QB
He'll probably be ready to return after the Jets' bye, but at this point, might New York just be better off riding with Joe Flacco until their inevitable 2021 draft addition? Probably. 

Last week: 32