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? 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 7 rankings:

Week 7 QB Power Rankings
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
The rightful king, back on top. Mahomes wasn't over-the-moon spectacular in Monday's win over the Bills, but he didn't have to be. That speaks to his adaptability as the man that keeps everything together on Kansas City's top-tier offense. If you need him to be ultra-efficient, he can be. If you need rocket-armed big plays, he's your guy. Russell Wilson's deep ball and 2020 numbers are still slightly prettier, but let's not kid ourselves anymore: Mahomes is the QB you want if given the choice of all 32.  

Last week: 2

Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks QB
Easily the biggest reason the Seahawks are one of the NFL's remaining undefeated teams, Wilson's only noticeable flaw -- holding the ball too long -- just happens to contribute to his play-extending greatness. Everything has been working this year: The deep ball, the short stuff, the chemistry with D.K. Metcalf. No one's quite as poised, either.  

Last week: 1

Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers QB
Sunday's major dud against the Buccaneers would normally drop Rodgers in the rankings, but does anyone really expect him to start a game so poorly again? Consider that, after a bad two-INT loss against Tampa Bay, Rodgers still holds the fifth-best passer rating in the entire NFL. His touch is still there. And a huge rebound is probably in order.

Last week: 3

Kyler Murray Arizona Cardinals QB
It's the same thing every week: Murray needs to be better at picking his spots down the field (his six INTs are tied for fourth-worst among all starters). But everything else he does is tantalizing. Those legs make at least one spectacular play per game, and he consistently gives his receivers chunk-yardage opportunities. Teams should be scared to line up against him.

Last week: 6

Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers QB
This isn't the Big Ben of old, milking his time in the pocket for all it's worth and putting his body in harm's way just for the sake of a big play. This Big Ben is getting the ball out at an extremely fast clip, relying on his play-makers out wide, and almost never letting the pressure get to him. Pittsburgh is undefeated in large part because of his quietly dominant return.  

Last week: 7

Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
Maybe all the MVP talk was premature? We're not here to slam Allen, who's had two straight disappointing outings after a red-hot start to his third season, but there's no doubt the Bills need more consistency from him if they want to make a serious run. Still, as long as he touts that rocket arm and big-bodied running style, Buffalo will be a hard out at any point this year. 

Last week: 4

Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
He's so similar to Murray and Allen in that he'll always be a threat solely because of his physical tools. We're so used to his running abilities that we don't bat an eye when he breaks off 100-yard games, but we should. And yet he's still got a ways to go as a passer. Is it necessary to sidearm every short throw? He skips too many balls in the turf to be top five right now.

Last week: 6

Deshaun Watson Houston Texans QB
Here's a good barometer for Watson's talent: Imagine if he were playing for the Ravens or Bills or Steelers right now, rather than the bottom-of-the-barrel Texans. Chances are he'd be putting up similar, if not better, numbers. That speaks volumes about his ability to not only weather his surroundings but continue to thrive as an air-it-out pocket passer.  

Last week: 9

Derek Carr Las Vegas Raiders QB
It's going to be really interesting to see whether he's still in this group at the end of the year. Because while Carr has fallen far from the mountaintop before, his numbers really suggest he's been one of the game's most efficient signal-callers for the last year and a half: Through five starts, he's on pace for 35 TDs, just three INTs and a career-best 115.9 passer rating.

Last week: 10

Tom Brady Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
His post-game handshake etiquette is sorely lacking (Aaron Rodgers gets one, but Nick Foles can't?), but Brady has now turned in enough rock-solid performances to justify Tampa Bay's investment. Bucs fans shouldn't expect him to complete 70+ percent of his throws for any stretch of the year, but he's a really good point guard for their weapons.

Last week: 11

Ryan Tannehill Tennessee Titans QB
Titans fans, this one's for you. It's long been tough to separate Tannehill from the Titans' heavy reliance on defense and Derrick Henry, but the fact is he's now stepped up with big numbers for a full season's worth of starts in Tennessee. Elite athlete, he is not, but boy does he rarely look uncomfortable operating the pocket. Smooth and steady wins the race.

Last week: 18

Carson Wentz Philadelphia Eagles QB
One look at the stat sheet will not convince you Wentz is nowhere near top-12 material -- and nor should it. But No. 11 has endured a beating for two straight weeks, all while keeping the Eagles competitive against legitimate AFC contenders. As always, he has to be more careful with the ball, but boy does he fight when the chips are down.

Last week: 13

Drew Brees New Orleans Saints QB
Poke fun at his arm strength all you want, but Brees is still getting rid of the ball, feeding what play-makers are healthy and delivering the rock accurately -- more accurately than all but two other QBs, to be exact. Michael Thomas' long-awaited return should do wonders for his ability to rival the other top QB's numbers.

Last week: 12

Jimmy Garoppolo San Francisco 49ers QB
For every near-miss, potential-turnover throw on Sunday, Garoppolo had three or four beauties. Fully healthy after missing time -- and mechanics -- due to the ankle injury, Jimmy G is just so smooth when Kyle Shanahan's system is clicking around him.

Last week: 19

Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons QB
Guess he's not washed up, after all. Then again, he also just got done playing Mike Zimmer's porous Vikings defense. The truth lies somewhere in the middle: Ryan isn't instantly fixing the Falcons' issues, but he can still get hot when he's got help.

Last week: 16

Jared Goff Los Angeles Rams QB
Our biggest loser of the week in terms of positioning here, Goff completely folded for much of Week 6's crucial divisional game. It can be excused a little bit because of how efficient he opened the year. But if it's the start of another streak of off-target and ultimately skittish performances in the pocket, the Rams are in trouble. 

Last week: 8

Justin Herbert Los Angeles Chargers QB
There might be three or four other QBs with as much juice in their arm right now. By that factor alone, Herbert should probably be even higher on the list. He just needs more experience to get some of the little things down, let alone turn L.A. around. 

Last week: 15

Matthew Stafford Detroit Lions QB
The unfortunate thing for Stafford is that Detroit would be best served auctioning off some of his former play-makers as the trade deadline approaches. More likely: They fight on, but Stafford is eventually stuck with the post-Matt Patricia regime.

Last week: 20

Tua Tagovailoa Miami Dolphins QB
Oh yes we did. The Dolphins might be taking a risk by benching the hit-or-miss Ryan Fitzpatrick for an unproven rookie in Tua, but our bet is that Tagovailoa's instincts, mobility and aversion to turnovers will make an immediate impact in Miami. 

Last week: Unranked

Cam Newton New England Patriots QB
That good start to the season was fun while it lasted. Since going neck and neck with Seattle, Newton has gotten progressively worse over the last two games, while also missing another start due to COVID-19. At least he's still got the power run game?

Last week: 17

Kirk Cousins Minnesota Vikings QB
When he operates within the system and things are going according to plan, Cousins is just fine, if not really good. Problem is, he's been off script way too often in 2020, and thus the turnovers have been off the charts. It might still get worse.

Last week: 14

Teddy Bridgewater Carolina Panthers QB
Teddy finally ran into a good defense against the Bears and had little to offer. As a whole, he's still been a surprisingly steady hand for an over-achieving team. Look out for a better performance against his old pals, the Saints, in Week 7.

Last week: 21

Joe Burrow Cincinnati Bengals QB
Turns out Burrow is not invincible and is, in fact, taking some rookie lumps. Still, you've got to like his poise. If you extrapolate his current numbers over the rest of the year, you're still looking at high-quality stuff from a first-year signal-caller.

Last week: 22

Nick Foles Chicago Bears QB
Aren't the Bears more fun to watch? Foles will rarely be a perfect, play-it-safe QB for Chicago, especially when he has that defense backing him up, but his willingness to just chuck it up for his play-makers should keep this team threatening. 

Last week: 26

Philip Rivers Indianapolis Colts QB
The old man's arm is still alive! You can't vault Rivers way up the rankings just yet, especially considering how poorly he managed some of Indy's earlier contests, but it was encouraging to see some fight in the Colts' latest victory.

Last week: 27

Baker Mayfield Cleveland Browns QB
Poor Baker didn't have much of a chance going up against the Steelers pass rush with sore ribs. A rebound shouldn't be too hard, especially if the ground game gets going again. Thing is, he's very much dependent on that right now.  

Last week: 24

Drew Lock Denver Broncos QB
So much for Lock coming out like the savior of the QB room against New England. Two ugly turnovers in an ugly game? Not pretty. But the longer he's back on his feet, the more comfortable he should be airing it out despite a banged-up supporting cast.  

Last week: 23

Gardner Minshew Jacksonville Jaguars QB
Doug Marrone would not be entertaining questions of a potential QB change if things were fine and dandy with Minshew and the Jags. The numbers have never been downright ugly, but it's clear there's a ceiling to what Minshew offers.  

Last week: 25

Andy Dalton Dallas Cowboys QB
Maybe the transition from Dak Prescott to Andy Dalton won't be as seamless as we all expected. The Cowboys' weapons should help Dalton recover from a bad Monday night debut, but will the O-line and coaching do the same?

Last week: 28

Kyle Allen Washington Football Team QB
He almost helped Washington beat the Giants, which is ... something. Look, everyone knows the reality: Allen is a backup, and he's really just biding time for the inevitable follow-up switch here.

Last week: 31

Daniel Jones New York Giants QB
Danny Dimes should have a decent chance at some big plays on Thursday against an unpredictable Eagles secondary, although you wonder how he'll hold up against their pass rush. Turnovers, as always, are the issue.  

Last week: 30

Sam Darnold New York Jets QB
Is Adam Gase still around? Then check back again in a week. It's astounding how we've all just accepted the fact Darnold has basically no more future in New York because of what's transpired these last few years. 

Last week: 32