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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.

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? By considering their 1.) current standing and team situation, b.) overall reputation, and c.) projected upside. With each passing week, the first factor receives more weight in the rankings so that this list mostly reflects 2020 performance.

Now, without further ado, let's get to the Week 4 rankings:

Week 4 QB Power Rankings
1
Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks QB
This man is on pace for nearly 75 touchdown passes. Shouldn't that say enough? It is actually astounding how beautiful his deep passes have looked this year, and that's saying something considering Wilson has long been admired for his arcing big-play throws. Somehow, at age 31, one of the NFL's most consistently elite QBs might be hitting his peak.

Last week: 1

2
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
Finally asked to unleash his MVP game on Monday night, Mahomes brought it -- and then some. Wilson gets the nod at No. 1 only because of his unparalleled production and poise, but No. 15 quickly reminded us in the Chiefs' thrashing of Baltimore that he's far and away the best long-term QB in the game. Rival GMs would literally forfeit entire seasons to have his talent.

Last week: 3

3
Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
Jackson's sour Week 3 performance isn't proof that the rest of his production has been a mirage, but it was a reminder that he's just not nearly as proven a passer as Mahomes, his fellow former MVP. He needs to be able to hit the lay-ups -- and the open big plays -- when it matters most. Still, we'd be sorely remiss if we didn't marvel once more at his electrifying skill set.

Last week: 2

4
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers QB
We've said it before, but it bears repeating: Any other year, A-Rod would be the front-runner for MVP. Does Jordan Love even play for the Packers anymore? We're three weeks into the 2020 season, and it seems like we're at least another three years from ever hearing speculation about Love's QB1 upside again. Rodgers is simply on fire, especially on his deep shots.

Last week: 4

5
Kyler Murray Arizona Cardinals QB
The interceptions are a growing concern, but they're also kind of par for the course considering Murray's run-and-gun style of play. And while his forced throws will inevitably get Arizona into some trouble (and perhaps a few more losses), it's hard to overstate how dynamic he's been on the ground. Again, you can make a case he's equally as explosive as Lamar Jackson.

Last week: 5

6
Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys QB
You can't pin all the blame from the Cowboys' close defeat to Seattle on Prescott, but he does need to be a little smarter. Thing is, nine times out of 10, Dak does make the smart plays. As long as he's surrounded with his current supporting cast, he should remain a top-seven or -eight passer, not only in terms of raw numbers but week-to-week reliability.

Last week: 6

7
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
With each passing week, this big man rises farther up the board. While previous years suggest it's just a touch early to believe he's fully arrived as the Bills' dream QB, his 2020 has been incredibly promising. A 71 percent completion percentage with 10 touchdowns, one pick and 18 passes of 20 or more yards? He is a chunk-yardage machine right now.

Last week: 9

8
Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers QB
Big Ben has had his shaky moments, but all in all, the Steelers couldn't have asked for much more from a 38-year-old coming off elbow surgery. Early on, he's on pace for one of the best seasons of his career. And he's got Pittsburgh primed to make a legitimate run at the Ravens' AFC North title.

Last week: 8

9
Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons QB
Ryan's late-game Week 3 funk contributed to Atlanta's latest meltdown, but he's still just a really good QB stuck on a team that can't get out of its own head. Could he do more to lift the Falcons out of this slide? Sure. But it's not often he wastes the talent around him. Imagine where he might rank on a team whose coach is not known for soul-crushing blown leads.

Last week: 7

10
Jared Goff Los Angeles Rams QB
A slow start prevented he and the Rams from opening 3-0, and it remains true that any semblance of consistent pressure can throw him way off balance. But Goff apologists should be thrilled with how this season's begun. He's hitting the deep ball. He's completing passes at a career-high rate. So many signs of steps forward in Year Five.

Last week: 10

11
Deshaun Watson Houston Texans QB
Is Watson bogged down by his circumstances, or is he also just not quite good enough to lift Houston when the going gets tough? It's probably a bit of both. The Texans had no favors with this year's early-season schedule, but they still need more from their star QB. Fortunately, he's got the skills and wherewithal to improve.

Last week: 11

12
Tom Brady Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
TB12 was predictably productive against a battered Broncos defense in Week 3, and with each week, he seems more comfortable operating Bruce Arians' offense. The big question is whether he can sustain it throughout the year. Playing with so many weapons (when they're healthy) can lead to some uncharacteristic risks.

Last week: 12

13
Drew Brees New Orleans Saints QB
The numbers say he's right up there with the best of them to open 2020, but the eye test says otherwise, at least partially. Look, Brees remains a respected leader and field general, and his accuracy has generally been good, but there's a reason he's refusing to make downfield throws. Does he really need Michael Thomas that much to stretch the field?

Last week: 13

14
Derek Carr Las Vegas Raiders QB
The intriguing question here is: Can he ever approach the top 10? Carr has been a very efficient QB since the start of 2019, and he's once again really taken care of the ball this year, but you still wonder what the sustainable ceiling is. If Vegas can get this version of Carr for the rest of the season, it might be playoff material.

Last week: 16

15
Cam Newton New England Patriots QB
As a ball-carrier, Newton is playing like vintage Cam, and it's fair to call him one of the main reasons the Pats are actually competitive in their first post-Tom Brady season. He remains somewhat streaky through the air, though, and that might remain the case as long as New England trots out this receiving corps.

Last week: 15

16
Matthew Stafford Detroit Lions QB
After a much-needed game-winning drive in Week 3, Stafford is primed for a rise back up the board. The arm is still there. He's just got to be smart, as he was for much of Detroit's recent upset. The Lions absolutely need him at his best if they want to avoid another slide into conversations about Matt Patricia's future.

Last week: 17

17
Carson Wentz Philadelphia Eagles QB
Where in the world is the Carson Wentz of 2017 -- or even 2018 or 2019, for that matter? He practically willed the Eagles into overtime to close Week 3, but that was against the winless Bengals, for crying out loud. No. 11 can still be franchise material, but right now, he's hurting the Eagles more than he's helping them. He needs to settle down and rebuild confidence fast.

Last week: 14

18
Ryan Tannehill Tennessee Titans QB
When he's firing on all cylinders with the rest of the Titans offense, Tannehill is really good. Thing is, he almost always needs the rest of the offense to be doing just that. Without heavy doses of Derrick Henry, is he beating the winless Vikings in Week 3?

Last week: 19

19
Gardner Minshew Jacksonville Jaguars QB
Minshew Mania fell back to Earth in the kickoff of Week 3, in which he couldn't hit easy throws to beat the struggling Dolphins at home. Still, it'd be a stunner if his athleticism and moxie weren't back on display in short order.

Last week: 18

20
Joe Burrow Cincinnati Bengals QB
Call him Joe Cool, because Burrow looks like a bona fide veteran three games into his career. Savvy in and outside of the pocket, he's also controlling the football despite an incredibly shaky O-line. The Bengals found themselves a keeper.

Last week: 22

21
Kirk Cousins Minnesota Vikings QB
This was apparent after the Vikings' 0-2 start, and it's apparent again: Cousins is better than this, but he's not playing like it. The Justin Jefferson connection looks promising, but his turnovers and pocket fragility also look a lot worse when the rest of the team can't pick up the slack.

Last week: 20

22
Baker Mayfield Cleveland Browns QB
That makes two straight solid starts for the former No. 1 overall pick. If Kevin Stefanski can keep this up, allowing Mayfield to lean on -- and then thrive off -- the one-two running punch of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, he'll rise even farther.

Last week: 23

23
Nick Foles Chicago Bears QB
The man. The myth. The legend. Foles makes his 2020 debut on this list just outside the top 20, but truth be told, his magic off the bench is top-12 material, so long as Matt Nagy and Co. truly allow him to be himself and just play simplistic ball.

Last week: Unranked

24
Philip Rivers Indianapolis Colts QB
Hey, if you're a Colts fan and you take offense to this slight drop for Old Man Rivers, that's fine by us. He was good against the Jets, completing more than 80 percent of his throws. But it's fair to worry about the inevitable resurgence of turnovers.

Last week: 21

25
Teddy Bridgewater Carolina Panthers QB
Teddy probably deserves more love for his quiet but solid start to a Panthers career, especially considering the state of Carolina -- a club both injured and in rebuild mode. It's just hard to buy him as a guy who's going to single-handedly win you multiple games, let alone big ones.

Last week: 24

26
Justin Herbert Los Angeles Chargers QB
Set to start for the recovering Tyrod Taylor in a third straight game, Herbert still boasts a live arm with the potential to swing any game in L.A.'s favor. He's also still a rookie taking his lumps, and the Chargers' ugly injury report won't help him much.

Last week: 25

27
Ryan Fitzpatrick Miami Dolphins QB
So Fitzmagic is back? We're not ready to crown this ageless wonder the surefire Dolphins starter for the remainder of 2020, but he sure took a big step forward by rolling over the Jaguars in Week 3. This week against Seattle won't be as pretty.

Last week: 29

28
Daniel Jones New York Giants QB
There's still a decent amount to like about Jones, beneath the surface. The size. The arm. The intangibles. But everything else is problematic, starting with the continued spree of turnovers. New York isn't good, but he isn't helping.

Last week: 27

29
Nick Mullens San Francisco 49ers QB
Barring a return to practice for Jimmy Garoppolo, which is possible, the 49ers will roll with Mullens for a second straight start. It's unlikely the backup can sustain what he did against the Giants in Week 2, but in Kyle Shanahan's offense, he's looked very comfortable operating out of a run-first setup.

Last week: 30

30
Dwayne Haskins Washington Football Team QB
Ron Rivera is already talking like he'd consider a change. That's ... not good, especially considering how much the coach hyped up the notion of using 2020 as an evaluation tool for his young QB. It's understandable, though, because Haskins hasn't been particularly accurate at any point this season.

Last week: 28

31
Jeff Driskel Denver Broncos QB
Brett Rypien might end up being Denver's starter in Week 4, and Blake Bortles might end up being Denver's starter by Week 5. For now, any of those three hold a slight advantage over our No. 32, even though they're all replacement-level talents.

Last week: 31

32
Sam Darnold New York Jets QB
Yikes. This is not hyperbole: Adam Gase may have ruined Sam Darnold, or at least his Jets career. The numbers aren't necessarily all bottom-barrel, but they're darn close. And the ravaged supporting cast indicates things could still get worse.

Last week: 32