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
Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks QB
He could play, like, three or four more games and already warrant a Pro Bowl nod. Seattle is only close to being undefeated because he, along with some major help from Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf, has been poised and dominant every week.

Last week: 1

Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
With each passing week, it gets harder not to make Mahomes and Russ co-leaders of this list. This guy is seriously on pace for 42 touchdowns and just two picks, and he's barely even unleashed his arm for a string of consecutive games.

Last week: 2

Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers QB
Rodgers can't play defense, too, which is the main reason Green Bay isn't 6-1. It's kind of astounding, by the way, how quickly we've all just accepted the reality of 2020: That A-Rod clearly remains an elite passer with a ton left in the tank.

Last week: 3

Kyler Murray Arizona Cardinals QB
Murray's knack for play-making can put Arizona in tough spots sometimes, but it's also the reason the Cardinals just might cruise to the playoffs. If the game is on the line, you'd unflinchingly take his athleticism over most QBs in the league.

Last week: 4

Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers QB
The Steelers are incredibly balanced on both sides of the ball, which is why they're 7-0. It's impossible to oversell Big Ben's importance, though. He should be a Comeback Player of the Year front-runner for his steady hand.

Last week: 5

Tom Brady Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
As has been true for ages, Brady isn't perfect when the pocket breaks down. But he's been mostly money as a point guard for an offense that's about to get even better with Antonio Brown's arrival. No. 12 looks very capable of making another title run.

Last week: 9

Deshaun Watson Houston Texans QB
His production is spoiled by the general state of the Texans, but as we've said for weeks, just imagine what kind of talk he'd be generating on a team like the Bills or Ravens. Watson's pocket passing remains some of the most dynamic in the game.

Last week: 6

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Drew Brees New Orleans Saints QB
Remember when everyone said his arm was dead? Brees still isn't lighting it up on downfield shots, but hasn't his calling card always been the quick, efficient stuff? He's been genuinely good for weeks now, and that's without a steady WR corps. 

Last week: 12

Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
He shares a lot of characteristics with Kyler Murray: Incredibly athletic, always a threat to rip off a big play, and naturally gifted for flicking it through the air. Problem is, he's been worse as a deep passer, and his mechanics are only getting worse.

Last week: 8

Ryan Tannehill Tennessee Titans QB
Had he started stronger the last two weeks, the Titans might still be undefeated. Still, even his biggest mistakes don't seem to rattle him, and he's been a rock-solid operator of a contending offense.

Last week: 10

Derek Carr Las Vegas Raiders QB
It's a bit concerning if Carr's so-so outing in an ugly win over Cleveland is a sign of things to come, but on the year, you can't deny his output: The veteran is still making accurate reads while capitalizing on more downfield opportunities.

Last week: 11

Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
The early-season MVP talk seems so distant now. Allen remains an every-down threat to extend plays, but he's regressed in almost every way for weeks. The reality: He's probably closer to late-2019 than anything -- a talented but erratic play-maker.

Last week: 7

Justin Herbert Los Angeles Chargers QB
Joe Burrow has been really good, but this kid deserves to be the Offensive Rookie of the Year favorite. Forget him exceeding expectations; he just flat-out throws better balls than most of the NFL. Imagine if L.A. had more reliable defense or health. 

Last week: 15

Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons QB
Ryan's numbers aren't bad, but they're a touch inflated by Atlanta's easy win over Minnesota this season. His TD percentage (3.8) might soon be on pace to be his worst since 2015, when he managed just 21 TDs and 16 INTs in an 8-8 finish.

Last week: 13

Teddy Bridgewater Carolina Panthers QB
This is where we start to get into a bunch of interchangeable mid-tier QBs. Bridgewater's ceiling remains relatively low, but he's exceeded expectations on a scrappy team. His efficiency will keep Carolina feisty until season's end.

Last week: 18

Joe Burrow Cincinnati Bengals QB
If the Bengals can continue to build around him, this guy is going to make Cincy a legitimate challenger in the North -- perhaps even in place of Baltimore, depending on Lamar Jackson's trajectory. No task is too tall for this rookie.

Last week: 21

Carson Wentz Philadelphia Eagles QB
We're now halfway through Year Five, and Wentz seems cemented in boom-or-bust play on a down-by-down basis. Is he really just in his own head? Is longtime aggression finally catching up to him? He needs to cut down on the unnecessary risks.

Last week: 14

Jared Goff Los Angeles Rams QB
If Wentz is forcing too many throws, Goff is just generally uneasy in the pocket, and he has neither the build nor the tools to make something out of nothing like his fellow 2016 first-rounder. Sean McVay needs to dial things down or something. 

Last week: 16

Philip Rivers Indianapolis Colts QB
Old Man Rivers has officially caught fire. We can't let wins over Cincy and Detroit completely reshape our perspective here, but if Philip can at least throw the ball with confidence, that's a big step forward for a team capable of making noise.

Last week: 23

Kirk Cousins Minnesota Vikings QB
The Vikings stuck to their best recipe for success in the upset of Green Bay: Lean on Dalvin Cook, taking the ball out of Cousins' hands as much as possible. You decide what that says about Kirk. He's not bad, but he can only lead so much.

Last week: 20

Matthew Stafford Detroit Lions QB
The longer the season goes on, the more it feels like Stafford is nearing the end of the road in Detroit. He's done just enough at times but been wildly off the mark for much of the year. A change of scenery might do him really well.

Last week: 17

Baker Mayfield Cleveland Browns QB
The concerning thing about Mayfield is that Sunday's ugly six-point showing against Vegas has been pretty much in line with the majority of his career. He can be gutsy and flash big-play ability, but too often, he's "just a guy" under center.

Last week: 22

Tua Tagovailoa Miami Dolphins QB
Tua's first career start was largely forgettable, but the moment wasn't too big for him, and he at least successfully maintained the team's lead for the "W." More reps will assuredly bring more highlights from the youngster.

Last week: 26

Nick Foles Chicago Bears QB
Few QBs are stuck in as concerning an offense -- is anyone impressed by Matt Nagy's play-calling at this point? But Foles has been predictably streaky himself, never wavering in confidence but often pressing the ball into unnecessary windows.

Last week: 25

Drew Lock Denver Broncos QB
Give him credit for guiding Denver to a comeback -- another sign that Lock at least has the machismo to be a leader for this young team. But concerns remain about his turnover-worthy plays and slow starts.

Last week: 28

Cam Newton New England Patriots QB
Cam had some legitimately good moments early this year, but he's now fully reverted to the form he inhabited for years before leaving Carolina. This is a big, mobile QB who lacks either the health or decision-making to lift the Pats from their slump.

Last week: 24

Daniel Jones New York Giants QB
Maybe the most frustrating QB in the NFL right now, along with his NFC East counterpart Carson Wentz, Jones pairs every franchise-QB throw or scramble with a back-breaking error. He is a big reason New York fights and comes up short.

Last week: 29

Kyle Allen Washington Football Team QB
As a game manager, he's been perfectly fine, especially on a team designed to lean on Ron Rivera's defense. Let's see how he fares when the season draws to a close and the division title is on the line.

Last week: 30

Nick Mullens San Francisco 49ers QB
The Niners' QB job is Mullens' to lose for the time being, with Jimmy Garoppolo sidelined indefinitely. He may have a tough time keeping the spot considering how banged up the rest of the offense is.

Last week: Unranked

Jake Luton Jacksonville Jaguars QB
Should Luton beat the Texans in his first career start, it's not crazy to think Doug Marrone could stick with the young gun now that he's softened a bit on Gardner Minshew. Chances are nether guy will be the guy in 2021.

Last week: Unranked

Ben DiNucci Dallas Cowboys QB
With Andy Dalton back on the sidelines thanks to COVID-19 exposure, DiNucci will get a second crack at the starting gig against none other than the Steelers. Yikes.

Last week: 31

Sam Darnold New York Jets QB
How much is anyone even giving up for Darnold at this point? The Jets are a mess, but he's a central part of it.

Last week: 32