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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? 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
Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks QB
Wilson arguably threw Sunday night's game away, floating a couple of head-scratchers -- including a back-breaking pick in overtime -- against Arizona. But the reality is the Seahawks wouldn't have even been in the game without him. He's still throwing the game's prettiest deep ball, and his superhero poise is the reason Seattle sits atop the NFC West.

Last week: 2

2
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
It feels like Mahomes is having a "down" year because of Kansas City's defensive success of late, but all his last few weeks have done is prove he's capable of managing victories as much as he is single-handedly dominating them. Just wait until December and January, when Andy Reid calls upon No. 15 to reintroduce his Super Bowl-caliber arm in the AFC hunt.

Last week: 1

3
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers QB
As expected, Rodgers' Week 7 dud was just a hiccup. The trusty veteran was back to uncorking perfect big plays against the Texans in Green Bay's return to the win column, and his touch passes remain one of the prettiest sights in the NFL. If you took him out of the MVP conversation because of the Bucs game, you can reinsert him now.

Last week: 3

4
Kyler Murray Arizona Cardinals QB
The mechanics can be dicey, as evidenced by Murray's nearly fatal second-half INT against Seattle. But this guy has ridiculous talent and puts all of it to use. His passing numbers aren't off the charts, and as always, he needs to cut down on the picks, but as a total package, he's a constant weapon -- always a threat to storm back into a game with his arm or legs.

Last week: 4

5
Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers QB
Three INTs against Tennessee threw a slight wrench into his string of ultra-efficient victories, but Big Ben remains the glue that holds the Steelers offense together. All in all, he's still been everything Pittsburgh could've hoped for (and more) since reclaiming his spot in the starting lineup.

Last week: 5

6
Deshaun Watson Houston Texans QB
Some may scoff at the fact a QB on a 1-6 team sits just outside the top five, and Watson occasionally promises more than he delivers, but consider his circumstances. Who else would be putting up his numbers in Houston right now? Imagine if he played for the Bills or Ravens. We'd probably be talking about yet another candidate for MVP.

Last week: 8

7
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Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
Accuracy remains a concern for Jackson, who has to be better if the Ravens want to advance in the playoffs down the road, but he's good for at least two to three game-changing plays a game thanks to his unmatched athleticism.

Last week: 7

8
Tom Brady Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
Don't be surprised if Brady creeps close to the top five now that Antonio Brown is in the building. TB12 has the benefit of one of the NFL's most explosive supporting casts, but he's also had plenty of pinpoint throws on his own as of late. 

Last week: 10

9
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
Are we witnessing the sudden reversion to Josh Allen of old? He was better against the Jets in Week 7, but that was the Jets. Even then, there were some questionable decisions. He stays inside the top 10 because of the hot start and physical tools.

Last week: 6

10
Ryan Tannehill Tennessee Titans QB
The Titans could've used Tannehill's signature steadiness in the first half against Pittsburgh. Still, he did nearly enough to upset a good team in the Steelers, and we've now got a large enough sample size to declare him Grade-A starting material.

Last week: 11

11
Derek Carr Las Vegas Raiders QB
People hate to admit it, but Carr has been really good for close to a year and a half now. He's completing more of his passes than all but one other QB, and not only that but has thrived throwing it deep. Still, it's not always translating to wins.

Last week: 9

12
Drew Brees New Orleans Saints QB
Maybe Michael Thomas will never return, but it hasn't totally wiped out Brees just yet. For all the jokes about whether No. 9 has any arm left, he's still doing more than enough to get the job done as the shepherd of New Orleans' banged-up offense.

Last week: 13

13
Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons QB
The Falcons probably won't be competitive again until Ryan is playing elsewhere, but given the right situation, we all know he can still produce like a top-10 passer. Plug him in on any other contender (Saints? Bills?) and he'd be doing good stuff.      

Last week: 15

14
Carson Wentz Philadelphia Eagles QB
This is exactly where Wentz belongs as something of a scattershot play-maker these days. You can attribute some of his struggles to a ridiculously battered offense, but he's a safe bet for both mental lapses and spectacular grit each week.     

Last week: 12

15
Justin Herbert Los Angeles Chargers QB
Folks, we might have ourselves the real deal out in L.A. If the Chargers can ever stay even relatively healthy, this kid and his NFL-ready confidence, not to mention maybe top-five arm talent, should make this team a legitimate AFC West challenger.

Last week: 17

16
Jared Goff Los Angeles Rams QB
Tough to shift Goff too much after a solid, if unspectacular, Monday night against Chicago. The Bears defense is scary, yes, but there were a few times he nearly threw himself into a funk. When he's operating in Sean McVay's rhythm, he can be top-10. 

Last week: 16

17
Matthew Stafford Detroit Lions QB
The Lions are not dead yet, and apparently neither is Stafford. It's far too early to say Matt Patrica has staved off ownership's pink slip with Detroit's recent fight, but No. 9 returning to form and cutting out the forced throws will go a long way in Motown. 

Last week: 18

18
Teddy Bridgewater Carolina Panthers QB
Most people figured Bridgewater would be decent as Carolina's post-Cam Newton experiment, but did anyone expect he'd be this poised? The ceiling with Teddy probably remains relatively tame, but he's taken legitimate strides in this full-time gig.

Last week: 22

19
Jimmy Garoppolo San Francisco 49ers QB
Garoppolo isn't too far removed from his NFC West counterpart Jared Goff in that, when he's comfortable and rolling with his coach's designs, he can be Super Bowl-caliber. Problem is, those off games can be ugly. And now his WRs are hurt again.

Last week: 14

20
Kirk Cousins Minnesota Vikings QB
Cousins has acknowledged that he can't keep on turning the ball over and expect to remain the starter. But let's be real: Sean Mannion isn't giving the Vikings any more than he is. The real question is: Might Minny find a taker for him after the season?

Last week: 21

21
Joe Burrow Cincinnati Bengals QB
Burrow rebounded in a big way in Week 7, overcoming back-to-back sloppy starts with a monster performance in a shootout with Cleveland. The wins aren't there yet, but with his confidence, they aren't incredibly far off.

Last week: 23

22
Baker Mayfield Cleveland Browns QB
Odell Beckham Jr.'s loss is going to hurt, but what if Mayfield works even more to spread the ball around in his absence? Baker is nowhere near as bad as his critics suggest, but he's got to start stepping up with these big days against good teams, too.

Last week: 26

23
Philip Rivers Indianapolis Colts QB
Rivers built some momentum heading into the Colts' bye, and it'll be interesting to see whether he comes out firing after a week of rest. His performance against Detroit will be a good test of whether he's actually capable of capitalizing vs. average teams.

Last week: 25

24
Cam Newton New England Patriots QB
Bill Belichick claims Newton is the QB1 moving forward despite Jarrett Stidham's entrance in Week 7. And Cam is due for a rebound, especially if he can get his legs going again. Still, it doesn't feel like Stidham is that far off from taking over for good.

Last week: 20

25
Nick Foles Chicago Bears QB
Monday night was a good example of the Bears' multifaceted offensive issues: Foles was not great, throwing two ugly picks and missing on big plays, but he had little help up front and even less from Matt Nagy. How much magic is left? 

Last week: 24

26
Tua Tagovailoa Miami Dolphins QB
After Ryan Fitzpatrick's honest assessment of his surprise benching, Tua's got a decent amount of pressure to deliver right out of the gate, especially with Miami still alive in the AFC East. The bet here is he'll surprise with impressive pocket presence.

Last week: 19

27
Gardner Minshew Jacksonville Jaguars QB
He's not a quitter, that's for sure; and truthfully, the numbers aren't bad. The Jags need something closer to a savior at QB, though, and his physical limitations prevent him from being that. In the long run, he seems like a top-level backup.

Last week: 28

28
Drew Lock Denver Broncos QB
Yikes. Lock was playing in bad weather against the Chiefs in Week 7, but two bad INTs? You can't do that in that kind of game. John Elway spent this year building around Lock as the franchise QB, but he's got to do more down the stretch. 

Last week: 27

29
Daniel Jones New York Giants QB
Has any play better defined Daniel Jones' career than his would-be TD run against the Eagles, in which he left Philly in the dust only to trip over his own feet? The Giants have done him absolutely no favors, but he still makes way too many errors.

Last week: 31

30
Kyle Allen Washington Football Team QB
Allen has quietly been really solid playing low-scoring football for Ron Rivera's team since taking over for Dwayne Haskins. If anyone's got a chance to vault up the rankings out of the weeds here, it might be him, especially in such a bad NFC East.

Last week: 30

31
Ben DiNucci Dallas Cowboys QB
Anyone playing behind the Cowboys' current O-line -- whether it's DiNucci, making his first career start; or Andy Dalton, who's in concussion protocol -- is doomed for struggles. And yet they're still a slightly higher-upside bet than ... 

Last week: Unranked

32
Sam Darnold New York Jets QB
Atrocious. Five games. Six interceptions. A completion percentage just above 58. The Jets are 0-7 for a lot of reasons, but Darnold is certainly one of them. Blame Adam Gase, but the reality is this QB hurts his team more than he helps it. 

Last week: 32