Kim O'Reilly, CBS Sports

Quarterbacks. We love them. We debate them. And we do it because they're the most important ingredient in a championship recipe. Not that it's impossible to win without an elite signal-caller, but history tells us that it's much easier otherwise. So we're keeping tabs on all 32 starters throughout the 2023 season.

Which ones are the best of the best? Which ones are decidedly not? All QBs are partly a product of their respective situations, but this is how we'd sort today's signal-callers right now. These power rankings, unlike offseason QB lists, are focused more on current standing than the bigger picture in an effort to tell the story of each QB's respective rise and fall.

Without further ado, the latest pecking order:

2023 NFL QB Power Rankings
Jalen Hurts Philadelphia Eagles QB
Hurts' encore to a 2022 MVP bid has been much less pretty, with 14 turnovers in 11 games. But he's shown up in the clutch week in and week out, executing back-to-back-to-back late-game heroics against the Cowboys, Chiefs and Bills. Undeniable as a critical-down runner, he's up to 29 total touchdowns on the season, making him the new MVP favorite. (+1)
Brock Purdy San Francisco 49ers QB
It's fitting he'll be up against Hurts and the Eagles in Week 12, rematching the last NFC title game. Because he's been just as good, playing routinely spot-free ball as the distributor to Christian McCaffrey, Brandon Aiyuk and the 49ers' arsenal of reliable outlets. There isn't a more efficient QB in football right now, and he also isn't afraid to challenge downfield. (+4)
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
Everyone can agree it's been a down year for the reigning MVP, who's often had to single-handedly propel K.C. alongside middling wideouts. Yet he still ranks fourth in TD passes (21) and is on pace for career marks as a scrambler.
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
He'll always give opposing teams a chance at the ball, thanks to his fearless gunslinging, but he showed MVP-caliber stuff playing shootout with the Eagles. He's virtually unsackable, with 3,500+ total yards and an NFL-best 33 TDs. (+1)
Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys QB
The Cowboys' schedule has helped him boost his numbers, but you can't fault a guy for capitalizing on opportunities. Prescott is spreading the ball all over, and he's throwing TDs at the best rate (6.2%) of his eight-year career. (+2) 
Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
The ever-nimble Jackson has only thrown 13 TDs in 12 games, but his effortless dual-threat talent still makes up for so many of the inconsistencies in the supporting cast. His 571 rushing yards easily rank first among QBs. (-5)
C.J. Stroud Houston Texans QB
Stroud was so good so quickly as a rookie that he's now expected to dominate each week, so the hype train has slowed just a touch. But he's still remarkably strong when airing it out, averaging more yards per throw (8.4) than all but two QBs. (-3)
Tua Tagovailoa Miami Dolphins QB
The video-game production is there when Miami's up against an inferior squad; his 22 passing TDs rank third. The challenge for the gutsy precision passer is protecting the ball better when faced with legit defenses.
Russell Wilson Denver Broncos QB
Early in the year, his stats didn't translate to victories, too often coming with games already decided. Now, Wilson is making a routine out of showcasing clutch touch to make Denver a crunch-time spoiler. He might have his swag back. (+2)
Trevor Lawrence Jacksonville Jaguars QB
Eleven games in, it's almost stunning that he's got just 12 TDs compared to seven picks. Jacksonville's been uneven, to say the least. But when he's clicking with his outside targets, boy, do he and the Jags look capable of making a run. (+2)
Justin Herbert Los Angeles Chargers QB
In some ways, he's kind of taken on the Kirk Cousins mantle in L.A., frequently logging top-10 stat lines while struggling to deliver when it matters most. This is a gifted pocket passer who's just yet to truly elevate an imbalanced team. (-2)
Jared Goff Detroit Lions QB
Goff's gutsy resilience has earned him leeway with Lions fans, and he's proven capable of taking precisely what defenses give him to guide a playoff bid. But the big-game giveaways are something to monitor after a sour Thanksgiving. (-2)
Matthew Stafford Los Angeles Rams QB
Perhaps no veteran has jumped up and down this list as much as Stafford, who goes from battered and panicky to positively cannon-armed from week to week. If the Rams keep him upright, they have the juice to make a surprise playoff push. (+5)
Jordan Love Green Bay Packers QB
After a long stretch in which he struggled to hit even routine throws as the leader of a young setup, Love has settled in while rediscovering his unteachable deep-ball touch. He's thrown eight TDs and just two picks to go 3-1 in his last four. (+7)
Justin Fields Chicago Bears QB
What's worse: his inability to protect the ball in the most critical moments of games, or the strategy and supporting cast that puts him in a hole for much of games? His rifle arm and smooth legs are at least letting the Bears hang around. (-1)
Geno Smith Seattle Seahawks QB
Health and ball security have been consistent concerns this year, but on a team where Pete Carroll's defense is the No. 1 liability, you can't question Smith's sheer will to keep fighting behind a shuffling O-line. He leaves it all on the line.
Joshua Dobbs Minnesota Vikings QB
A week after his improbable poise couldn't offset two giveaways in a tight loss, Dobbs' magic appeared to run almost all the way out vs. Chicago, in which he threw four picks. His story is still commendable, but will he remain QB1 after the bye? (-4)
Baker Mayfield Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
Most of this year, Mayfield has played smart to keep Tampa competitive, but his efforts to extend plays sometimes backfired in a loss to the Colts. His grit will always be respectable, but the Bucs' predictable plans may be too much to overcome. (-3)
Sam Howell Washington Commanders QB
Should he be excused for leading the NFL in picks (13)? No. But more than half of those INTs (7) came in just two games, and Washington asks him to chuck it more than anyone else. Consider him a work in progress as their future. (-2)
Derek Carr New Orleans Saints QB
Anyone who watched most of his Raiders career should've known Carr would be fine, not spectacular, in New Orleans. But the Saints need him to deliver more when it matters -- on key downs, in the red zone, etc. -- to win an ugly division. (-1)
Kyler Murray Arizona Cardinals QB
Three games in after returning from injury, Murray's been his elusive self, but the aerial efficiency (61.7% completion, 6.7 YPA) in a rebuilding lineup has been predictably iffy. The real question is, will he get more chances beyond 2023? (-1)
Will Levis Tennessee Titans QB
Not so dissimilar to someone like Justin Fields in Chicago, the big-armed Levis flashes all the physical tools to be something special. But his setup and instincts are still under construction. His no-quit attitude stands out as a rookie. (+1)
Gardner Minshew Indianapolis Colts QB
The career backup should be very thankful Shane Steichen knows how to draw up a run game, because the Colts' backfield has lessened his burden through the air. His weekly goal is primarily just to avoid multiple critical giveaways. (-1)
Tommy DeVito New York Giants QB
Do the Giants have something here with the spicy rookie? Their offense isn't exactly firing on all cylinders, but his spunk has at least generated enough to win a few games. He might've earned the temporary gig over the recovering Tyrod Taylor. (+4)
Kenny Pickett Pittsburgh Steelers QB
In his first action without Matt Canada overseeing the offense, he looked better, though the run game still carried Pittsburgh. Feeding Pat Freiermuth over the middle feels like a wise play for the gritty second-year starter moving forward. (+1)
Aidan O'Connell Las Vegas Raiders QB
The rookie stood tall to actually keep Vegas competitive against the Chiefs in Week 12, so it's clear he's got the wherewithal to grow as an NFL QB. On a team and lineup in transition, of course, the limitations are also quite apparent. (-2)
Desmond Ridder Atlanta Falcons QB
The Falcons' close win over the Saints in Week 12 was such a typical Ridder performance: Gritty at the finish, ugly beforehand. He throws himself into trouble anytime he starts, but give the kid credit for refusing to quit. (-2)
Bryce Young Carolina Panthers QB
Every week, the No. 1 pick has struggled to match the tempo of whichever defense he's playing. But with Frank Reich out and the revised staff desperate to get him on the right track, perhaps we'll see a bit of a bump from the rookie. (+1)
Jake Browning Cincinnati Bengals QB
In his first career start in place of the injured Joe Burrow, Browning fared decently well against a feisty Steelers "D," keeping Ja'Marr Chase involved. If the rest of the team can step up around him, Cincinnati shouldn't be totally written off. (+3)
Dorian Thompson-Robinson Cleveland Browns QB
This may well be Joe Flacco's job if the rookie can't clear concussion protocol ahead of Week 13 vs. the Rams. At 38, recently signed Flacco may or may not be an upgrade. Talk about a QB shuffle in Cleveland this year.
Bailey Zappe New England Patriots QB
Promoted in place of the benched Mac Jones for the fourth (!) time this season on Sunday, Zappe isn't necessarily guaranteed to stick as the QB1 as New England sinks even lower. But it really doesn't matter much at this point.
Tim Boyle New York Jets QB
Zach Wilson was overdue for a demotion as Aaron Rodgers' emergency replacement, but Boyle hasn't been much better, throwing three picks in one-and-a-half games since taking over. The Jets' sad season hangs in the balance. (-1)