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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 13 rankings:

Week 13 QB Power Rankings
1
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
The Chiefs can afford to just toy with teams in the red zone because they know, if they mess it up, Mahomes has the magic to save them. It'll be a mild surprise if he isn't playing in another Super Bowl at the end of this season.    

Last week: 1

2
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers QB
If you gave him the MVP over Mahomes and Russell Wilson , that would not be nonsensical. A-Rod is playing some of his best, cleanest football for a team that should be considered the favorite to represent the NFC in the big game.

Last week: 2

3
Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks QB
Wilson has calmed down since his turnover spree, and to be honest, he doesn't have to be an every-down hero for Seattle to contend. He's good enough as a drive manager and deep-ball specialist to win the important games.

Last week: 4

4
Deshaun Watson Houston Texans QB
For a while, it seemed a little questionable to rank him so high when the Texans were racking up losses, but man, he's just been throwing the ball so well. On even a mildly good team, he might be getting some MVP consideration. 

Last week: 5

5
Kyler Murray Arizona Cardinals QB
You still wonder how he'll fare when the lights get bright in/around the playoffs, but you cannot deny his tools. This kid will make you pay if you sleep on him in and outside the pocket.

Last week: 4

6
Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers QB
He wasn't perfect against the Ravens after an extended layoff, but he didn't need to be. Plus, Ben has not cost the Steelers -- rather, he's often quietly propelled them -- all year. Guy is very much capable of a deep run.

Last week: 6

7
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
At this point, you just have to take Allen's rough-and-tumble efforts as part of the whole package. He's going to get into some trouble. But he's good enough to overcome it, too. The Bills will be a tough out because of him.

Last week: 7

8
Ryan Tannehill Tennessee Titans QB
Does his name scream "elite QB" yet? Maybe not league-wide. But the Titans are a dog of a team, and he has *still* yet to turn in a true dud as their guy. Another inspiring playoff run will go a long way in boosting his respect.    

Last week: 10

9
Justin Herbert Los Angeles Chargers QB
Imagine what he'll look like if/when the Chargers get a staff capable of dealing with situational football, not to mention maximizing offensive talent. His arm offers so much potential.

Last week: 11

10
Derek Carr Las Vegas Raiders QB
Carr has legitimately been a top-10ish QB for almost two full seasons now, but clunkers like his Week 12 turnover fest against Atlanta don't help. His performance down the stretch will be paramount to Vegas staying alive.    

Last week: 8

11
Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
It might sound weird to say this, but it probably bears repeating just for any increasing skeptics: The Ravens are better with Lamar. Has he been as deadly as 2019? No way. But those electric legs get taken for granted. 

Last week: 12

12
Tom Brady Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
It's clear, 12 weeks into the season, that Brady and Bruce Arians are not fully on the same page. But how did these two not see this coming from the get-go? TB12 has been fine, but only when he's not forcing the big play.    

Last week: 9

13
Kirk Cousins Minnesota Vikings QB
Don't look now, but Cousins has been the biggest reason for the Vikings ' second-half turnaround. Has he been perfect? No. But he's been darn good, picking up the slack through the air when Dalvin Cook can't get much going on the ground.

Last week: 14

14
Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons QB
Nothing special here, as per usual from Ryan in 2020. But at least he's got Atlanta playing scrappy since the Dan Quinn move. It'd still be fascinating to see him elsewhere, if the Falcons were to go through with a full rebuild.   

Last week: 15

15
Teddy Bridgewater Carolina Panthers QB
Teddy was a little more erratic than expected against his old friends in Minnesota, but he's been a steady hand who's always given Carolina a chance to win.    

Last week: 13

16
Philip Rivers Indianapolis Colts QB
Is he great? Is he horrible? Neither, really. The big question is whether he's good and consistent enough to help Indy do more than just show up to the postseason.   

Last week: 17

17
Matthew Stafford Detroit Lions QB
Lions ownership refusing to commit to Stafford beyond 2020 makes sense, but it's still notable: It feels an awful lot like this vet is playing some of his last games in Motor City.

Last week: 18

18
Tua Tagovailoa Miami Dolphins QB
All signs point to Tua reclaiming his job after another encouraging Ryan Fitzpatrick outing. He should be able to build some momentum working against the Bengals

Last week: 19

19
Jared Goff Los Angeles Rams QB
Sean McVay isn't going to pull him anytime soon, but his frustrations are warranted. If the Rams want to make any noise down the stretch, they're going to need Goff to get his act together in the pocket. This guy breaks down too easily.

Last week: 16

20
Baker Mayfield Cleveland Browns QB
Game manager. That's what he is under Kevin Stefanski, and, frankly, he's played the part well. When it's late December or January and he's asked to win them a big game, though? That'll be the true test.

Last week: 23

21
Cam Newton New England Patriots QB
Like a lot of QBs in this region of the rankings, Newton hasn't been horrendous on his own, but he hasn't been anything special, either. One of the biggest issues: When he's not using his legs, he's not a consistent threat at all.

Last week: 20

22
Carson Wentz Philadelphia Eagles QB
The Eagles are running out of excuses to keep Wentz on the field, even as their play-calling and roster assembly keep No. 11 weighed down. The only reason he's so high is because the rest of these QBs offer little more.

Last week: 21

23
Alex Smith Washington Football Team QB
Good for him guiding Washington to the forefront of the NFC East race, but he's a mid-tier signal-caller at best these days. Even if he ends up starting a playoff game, it's hard to envision him going step for step in a shootout. 

Last week: 28

24
Drew Lock Denver Broncos QB
If he isn't missing games because of mask slip-ups, he just might be losing them with passing miscues. Look, Lock deserves credit for rallying his troops consistently, but he's far too turnover-prone to depend on.  

Last week: 27

25
Taysom Hill New Orleans Saints QB
As a pure runner, he'd be much higher. But he's playing QB right now, and not particularly well. The Saints can win (for now) with him pulling off a speedier version of the Tim Tebow offense, but they'll happily embrace Drew Brees upon return.

Last week: 24

26
Mitchell Trubisky Chicago Bears QB
Guess Nick Foles isn't the only guy who chucks the ball up hoping for something good to happen. Trubisky absolutely stunk up his chance at redemption against Green Bay, but the Bears don't have much of a choice here. 

Last week: Unranked

27
Nick Mullens San Francisco 49ers QB
Credit to Mullens for keeping San Francisco in the mix, but it's arguable the Niners won't survive this playoff bid without early-game improvement from the reserve -- or a return by Jimmy Garoppolo

Last week: 30

28
Andy Dalton Dallas Cowboys QB
If he can't win the NFC East with this set of passing weapons, well, he probably shouldn't be back as Dak Prescott's backup, either. 

Last week: 26

29
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Mike Glennon Jacksonville Jaguars QB
How's this for a comeback story? Well, even that's probably a stretch, but good for Glennon actually looking competent in place of Gardner Minshew and Jake Luton . What if he accidentally wins the Jags out of a better draft pick? 

Last week: Unranked

30
Brandon Allen Cincinnati Bengals QB
It's going to be rough sledding here for the remainder of the year. Keep an eye on Ryan Finley

Last week: Unranked

31
Colt McCoy New York Giants QB
Giants fans might realize pretty quickly that Daniel Jones is better than they think. 

Last week: Unranked

32
Sam Darnold New York Jets QB
You can blame Adam Gase for shackling him at certain points, but you can also just blame him for being trash. (That's not to say he can't ressurect his career elsewhere, but this season, he's done himself no favors.)

Last week: Unranked