The most important player on any football team — no matter how much they like to focus on the running game or defense — is the quarterback. Dynasties rise and fall with the fortunes of that position, so it makes sense to get an idea of how good those quarterbacks are compared to each other.
We’re approaching the end of the regular season, so it becomes more important than ever to figure out which quarterbacks have proven themselves among the league’s best and which ones have fallen to the wayside. Let’s take a look at our QB Power Rankings, which are split into different tiers.
2022 QB Power Rankings | Tier 1: Elite
1) Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
There are few quarterbacks that have Mahomes’ arm strength, accuracy, and escapability, but none have that and his spatial awareness or situational understanding.
2) Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles
As the Eagles have marched on through the season, Hurts has maintained his high level of play in the air and on the ground. He’s helped lead one of the most efficient offenses in the NFL, and he does it in a number of ways.
2022 QB Power Rankings | Tier 2: Franchise
3) Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals have been incredibly effective over the last several games, and the switch in offensive philosophy that gives Burrow more snaps in shotgun has been a big part. But he’s improved independently of that, navigating the pocket better and expanding the types of throws he’s willing and able to make.
4) Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Prescott’s return from injury has put the Cowboys in the driver’s seat in the NFC. Not only do they still have their excellent defense, but the Prescott-led Cowboys have also scored an average of 37.2 points per game, in part because of his excellent accuracy and decision-making.
5) Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Allen still finds ways to string together incredible plays, but his effectiveness – and statistics – have dropped off since sustaining the elbow injury against the Jets. For now, he’s not in the same tier as elite quarterbacks.
6) Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
Even a disastrous outing against San Francisco didn’t hurt Tagovailoa in key statistical categories, but it did expose some of his limitations as a quarterback. Nevertheless, he’s been lighting up the NFL.
7) Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers
Herbert has been playing excellent football but has been limited by the injuries of his supporting cast and the unusual decisions his coaches will make. Isolated from those surroundings, he’s been dynamic.
8) Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
Jackson is doing so much with so little, and his production is seemingly in spite of the position he’s put in, but late-game mistakes this year prevented him from entering elite territory.
9) Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks
Smith started off the season hot and has cooled off a little bit but still has shown an excellent capacity for using the weapons he has around him to their fullest extent.
2022 QB Power Rankings | Tier 3: Above Average
10) Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
If Cousins had played this year with just a little more consistency, he’d be in another tier of quarterback entirely. His highs have been very high, but the lows are still worrisome. Still, he’s overcome some of his biggest criticisms, like his play in the clutch.
11) Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
Lawrence has been playing better than his statistics, though he’s still subject to errors from hero-ball. A better supporting cast should help with more consistent play.
12) Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
Fields has ranked fifth in the NFL in completion rate over expected and seventh in EPA per play since Week 6. While there are still some lowlights, he’s playing good football.
13) Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
The last several weeks of Rodgers’ play have been mediocre, but he has been able to put some interesting elements together late in games.
2022 QB Power Rankings | Tier 4: Useful, But Limited
14) Daniel Jones, New York Giants
After an exciting several weeks of high-level play, Jones has fallen back down to earth a little bit. But he’s still playing better football than in any previous years or early in the season.
15) Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Since Week 6, Tom Brady has been one of the least efficient quarterbacks in the NFL. Despite some fourth-quarter comebacks, it’s tough to rely on him throughout the course of a full game. It’s difficult to take a legend and rank him below some players with less stellar careers, but in 2022 Brady has a lot less to show.
16) Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
Tannehill struggled to start off the season, but he’s settled into a rhythm and playing more efficient football – though not quite yet at the heights he’s reached earlier with the team.
17) Andy Dalton, New Orleans Saints
It’s easy to forget that Andy Dalton was once an efficient starter in the NFL. As an emergency fill-in for the Saints this year, he’s impressed.
18) Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders
It took a bit of time for Carr to figure out how exactly to use Davante Adams and still properly distribute the ball to the other receivers on the roster, but the offense can flow more consistently now.
19) Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
When you squint, you can see shades of Mahomes in Murray’s style of play. The issue is that Murray doesn’t attack every area of the field or have the same spatial or situational awareness.
2022 QB Power Rankings | Tier 5: Concerning
20) Taylor Heinicke, Washington Commanders
Heinicke has been a fun quarterback to watch, and he can string together some incredible drives. But until he fixes his tendency to blunder at the worst moments, he won’t be a franchise quarterback.
21) Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns
Watson didn’t look like the former MVP candidate the Browns knew him as, but it’s been two years since he’s seen the field. He could return to form soon. Until then, he ranks low.
22) Jared Goff, Detroit Lions
Goff doesn’t get very much credit for what he does with the Lions, and though he’s not an incredible quarterback, he’s not an afterthought either.
23) Marcus Mariota, Atlanta Falcons
Arthur Smith has gotten everything he can out of Mariota, but there are still clearly limitations on what he can do at quarterback.
24) Mac Jones, New England Patriots
Jones has done more in the New England offense recently and has showcased some of what made him intriguing last year, but it’s still more of a memory than a reality.
25) Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers
Darnold’s first showing in 2022 wasn’t a bad one, but he’ll need to do more to overcome what we’ve seen from him in previous years and rise up the ranks.
26) Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers
Pickett looks better every week, but he started off near the bottom of the NFL. While his limitations are still on display, he’s doing more to make the most of what he has.
27) Mike White, New York Jets
The Jets’ offense looks a little bit more dynamic with White under center instead of Zach Wilson, but there are still some obstacles to high-level play, and he continues to make blunders. But it is an upgrade.
2022 QB Power Rankings | Tier 6: Liabilities
28) Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos have a top-three defense in the league and can’t win games. That’s damning on the offense and the quarterback.
29) Matt Ryan, Indianapolis Colts
The new-look offense under Park Frazier has unlocked more from Ryan, but he’s still not the quarterback he once was. And he still makes big mistakes.
30) Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers
Shanahan seemingly finds ways to produce quarterbacks off of an assembly line. Much like Nick Mullens, C.J. Beathard, and Jimmy Garoppolo, Purdy is an efficient distributor best left to short area throws that struggles under pressure. But he doesn’t have the high highs or consistency of Garoppolo, and that matters a lot in this offense.
31) Kyle Allen, Houston Texans
After benching Davis Mills, Houston has turned to Allen to help right the ship. Or at least see what they have. It’s not much.
32) Baker Mayfield, Los Angeles Rams
The Rams’ waiver claim of Mayfield might have been more about taking a longshot at a future quarterback than it is to find a starter now, but it’s a longshot for a reason. Mayfield has flamed out at two franchises and does not have the accuracy or decision-making that evaluators hoped for.
33) John Wolford, Los Angeles Rams
Wolford has a lot of value as a backup, but his unusual delivery and penchant for holding on to the ball limit his starting potential. The Rams seemingly want Mayfield to start sooner rather than later, which is a referendum on Wolford.