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
Brock Purdy San Francisco 49ers QB
Eighteen starts into his career, he's up to 38 touchdowns, 11 picks, and a 9.3 yards-per-throw mark with a 15-3 record. Yes, the 49ers have an all-star setup, but it still takes a smart, confident, dynamic signal-caller to deliver that production. He's it.
Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys QB
The only reason he's not No. 1 over Purdy, his fellow MVP candidate, is the 49ers have beaten up on some better teams. But man, Prescott is dishing it out with career-high authority. At 30, he also looks in his prime throwing on the move. (+1)
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
The Bills may be just one game over .500, but they still register as Super Bowl contenders primarily because of this man. Every play is a fireworks display, for better or worse, but 35 total TDs speaks to his unmatched penchant for big plays. (+1) 
Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
In a year where he's once again easily leading all QBs in rushing, Jackson's effortless passing zip continues to pop off the highlight reel. His tight-window, late-game work has been particularly strong. Can he keep it up deep into January? (+4)
Jalen Hurts Philadelphia Eagles QB
The ball security of his 2022 MVP bid is a distant stranger now; he's up to 15 giveaways in 13 games. All in all, he's been a curious blend of both clutch and mercurial. The Eagles need his unfazed leadership to correct their slowing offense. (-3)
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
Not so dissimilar to Hurts, his Super Bowl foe, Mahomes has taken turns playing hero and falling victim to his own folding surroundings in an off year. Without reliable pass catchers, he's struggled to push the ball. But he can't be counted out. (-1)
Tua Tagovailoa Miami Dolphins QB
Fair or not, his MVP chances probably took a big hit when he failed to deliver without an injured Tyreek Hill late against the Titans. The guy still throws prettier passes than most, but he and Miami still need to prove they can withstand pressure. (-1)
Matthew Stafford Los Angeles Rams QB
In a span of three years, with vastly different Rams lineups, Stafford has gone from MVP-caliber to badly battered to quietly restored. His gunslinging gets him in trouble, but it's also giving L.A. offensive fireworks in a surprise playoff bid. (+2)
Russell Wilson Denver Broncos QB
It might be time to start taking him seriously again as the postseason nears. Since the empty-stats 1-5 start, he's thrown 11 TDs, just four picks, and made a habit of threading perfect crunch-time throws in a 6-1 stretch. Don't overlook Denver. (+4)
Justin Fields Chicago Bears QB
Maybe the Bears still like him as a long-term option. Maybe they don't. Who cares? Fields' aerial decision-making still has room for improvement, but once again, his pure dynamism has redefined Chicago's season, making the Bears competitive. (+5)
Jordan Love Green Bay Packers QB
He was off the mark in a prime-time opportunity with playoff implications against the Giants, but that doesn't erase the progress he's shown in his first full year as QB1. With more help down the road, his downfield touch could further emerge.
Jared Goff Detroit Lions QB
His sharp point-guarding is a big reason Detroit is playoff-bound despite recent hiccups. But eight turnovers in the last four weeks is precisely the wrong direction. When protected, he's reliable. Otherwise, the off-script limitations show. (-3)
Trevor Lawrence Jacksonville Jaguars QB
The guy plays through anything, we'll give him that. Neither knee nor ankle injuries have kept him sidelined for long. And when he's clicking, he can fire it anywhere, anytime. But communication issues have been a season-long hiccup.
Will Levis Tennessee Titans QB
Is there a more entertaining QB to watch right now? Levis is a rocked-up ball of clay on a team in transition. In other words, nothing is perfect. But his almost-unhinged physicality, paired with a big arm and quick feet, are very promising. (+2)
Geno Smith Seattle Seahawks QB
Drew Lock fared reasonably well in his absence, but Seattle needs him back under center if it wants to salvage a potential playoff run. The Eagles, meanwhile, could be just the welcome party he needs, considering their woes defending the pass.
Kyler Murray Arizona Cardinals QB
Before Arizona's bye, the Cardinals upset the Steelers, but they did it mostly by taking the burden off Murray as a thrower. That's probably the play moving forward, because his greatest, most consistent strength remains his mobility. (+2)
Baker Mayfield Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
Week 14 was a nice microcosm of the Mayfield and Buccaneers experience this year: ugly for a while, but just scrappy enough to get the "W" in the equally ugly NFC South. If only they could also play the Falcons in the postseason.
Derek Carr New Orleans Saints QB
What's more astounding: the work it takes for Carr's offense to actually put points on the board, or the fact he's still standing after absorbing so many big blows behind their line? New Orleans' defense is still doing much of the heavy lifting. (+3)
Jake Browning Cincinnati Bengals QB
Three starts into his tenure as Joe Burrow's fill-in, Browning's only getting better, showing an unusually natural feel for quick strikes from the pocket. Could they really make a run with the former undrafted reserve? His efficiency suggests so. (+4)
Tommy DeVito New York Giants QB
Maybe he's more than just a meme! DeVito's certainly embraced his Italian underdog storyline as an undrafted rookie, but he's starting to really back it up with on-field pizzaz. He's got legs, and he's also thrown some laser TDs in a 3-1 stretch. (+6)
Joe Flacco Cleveland Browns QB
Is it possible he's playing the best ball of his career at 38? That might be a step too far, but he looks fresh coming off the couch to give Cleveland a QB actually capable of pushing the ball downfield. The Browns' defensive support helps, too. (+3)
Gardner Minshew Indianapolis Colts QB
Minshew will never be doubted as a competitor, bringing infectious energy as the fill-in. But unless Indy is dominating on the ground, his penchant for giveaways proves costly. He's now coughed up the ball in seven of his last eight games. (-3)
Sam Howell Washington Commanders QB
Washington's bye came at a good time for Howell, whose heavy passing workload had begun to take a toll. (He still leads the NFL with 509 attempts, easily clearing Mahomes at No. 2.) But his game is also built around taking shots. (-1)
Davis Mills Houston Texans QB
C.J. Stroud would represent the Texans in the top 10, but the standout rookie is in concussion protocol after exiting Week 14 against the Jets. Mills, meanwhile, has plenty of starting experience, but he's been more prone to untimely giveaways.
Mitch Trubisky Pittsburgh Steelers QB
His first action as Kenny Pickett's injury replacement was defined by some curiously poor late-game decisions. If the Steelers can lean into his mobility and stay productive on the ground, perhaps they'll stay in the wild card picture. (+3)
Desmond Ridder Atlanta Falcons QB
The Falcons are destined to keep pace with the Bucs and Saints, but never quite supersede them, as long as their offense keeps doing what it does with Ridder. The guy is a fighter, flashing as a late-game runner. But the errant throws hurt. (+3)
Zach Wilson New York Jets QB
Perhaps no QB helped their reputation more than Wilson in Week 14. Finally, the maligned former first-rounder strung together multiple displays of his unteachable arm talent. He looked far more loose in his approach. (+5)
Bailey Zappe New England Patriots QB
Bill Belichick was slow to celebrate the Pats' ugly win over the Steelers, but Zappe showed more tight-window aggression than we've seen from either he or Mac Jones this year. It certainly feels like his job to lose until the offseason. (+3)
Nick Mullens Minnesota Vikings QB
Kevin O'Connell has been slow to definitively bench Joshua Dobbs amid the QB's fall back to Earth, but Mullens' game-winning drive in a painful win vs. the Raiders probably earned him the right to headline this wild card hopeful, for now.
Easton Stick Los Angeles Chargers QB
With Justin Herbert out for the season due to a finger injury, Stick is set to get the first extensive action of his five-year career. The former NDSU product has mobility, but he'd only thrown one NFL pass before taking over in Week 14.
Bryce Young Carolina Panthers QB
At this point, all parties involved are probably hoping, behind closed doors, just to make it to the offseason intact. Young's still holding his head high, but there's been so little to suggest he's ready -- or has the help -- to make an NFL impact. (-1)
Aidan O'Connell Las Vegas Raiders QB
Brian Flores runs a tight "D" in Minnesota, but O'Connell guiding a scoreless effort in Week 14 is just the latest example Las Vegas needs help. The rookie's a decent pocket-passing prospect, but he now has as many INTs (7) as games played. (-4)