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
At this point, anyone who describes him as a "function of the offense" is probably just looking to excuse their favorite team getting embarrassed by his gunslinging. Yes, Purdy operates a well-oiled machine, but he's the furthest thing from a statue in the pocket. He's got a natural feel for when to move and when to uncork it. While Christian McCaffrey may be their multipurpose MVP, there hasn't been a more efficient, more effortlessly dynamic QB all season.
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
Let's crank up the MVP buzz here. He barely had to throw for Buffalo to beat up on Dallas, but his legs were also key in the victory, and he's quietly up to 11 rushing scores on the year. His 37 total TDs lead the entire league. (+1)
Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
His passing marks don't jump off the page (17 TDs, 7 INTs), but he's lacing darts in tight spaces at the right times. Throw in 740+ rushing yards as the game's slipperiest scrambler, and you can see why Baltimore is 11-3 right now. (+1)
Dak Prescott Dallas Cowboys QB
His own MVP bid took a hit in an ugly loss to Buffalo, which confirms Dallas still has major hurdles to clear when away from their glitzy home stadium. Against most teams this year, however, he's carved up secondaries like a surgeon. (-2)
Tua Tagovailoa Miami Dolphins QB
A week after Tyreek Hill's exit affected his rhythm, Tagovailoa responded by airing it out with his signature precision to blow out the Jets' typically physical "D." He now leads all regular starters in both yards and completion percentage (71). (+2)
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
Every week, a headlining miscue from his supporting cast muddies up the groove, though he's also contributed to the hiccups with lackadaisical heaves of his own. At the end of the day, to have K.C. at 9-5 is still a credit to his poise.
Jalen Hurts Philadelphia Eagles QB
Is it Hurts, is it the coaching, or is it both? The guy is undeniable with the Brotherly Shove, but increasingly, after a clutch streak that got the Birds to 10-1, his vision and situational ball security are steady concerns. He needs rhythm. (-2)
Matthew Stafford Los Angeles Rams QB
Only the 49ers have strung together more consecutive 28-point showings, which speaks to the comfort he's rediscovered in Sean McVay's system. He's up to 13 TDs and just two picks in a 4-1 stretch during their playoff bid.
Jared Goff Detroit Lions QB
Just when it seemed safe to start questioning his ball security and playoff-readiness, Goff returns to full force by shredding Denver's defense. The guy is just different at Ford Field. Give him time to throw, and he'll do his job. (+3)
Justin Fields Chicago Bears QB
Losing another close game stings, but he came so close to pulling off a miraculous walk-off score against the tough Browns "D." Will the Bears give him a chance to pair his athleticism with a retooled lineup beyond 2023?
Jordan Love Green Bay Packers QB
Green Bay's big loss to the Buccaneers falls more on the Packers defense. Whether or not he guides a playoff bid, it's safe to say his first full year as a starter has been above-average -- streaky but encouraging, considering the setup.
Russell Wilson Denver Broncos QB
Needing a big night against the Lions to keep Denver on pace with other wild card hopefuls, Wilson lost a fumble early and didn't come alive until it was too late. It's been a theme; too many of his best darts have been in closing. (-3)
Geno Smith Seattle Seahawks QB
Drew Lock was a hero starting in his place against the Eagles, and in fact may have earned another week to hold down the fort. But Smith was reportedly close to suiting up while recovering from injury, so he's due to retake QB1 duties. (+1)
Baker Mayfield Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
His agent must've been feeling pretty special after he diced up a porous Packers "D" to give him 24 TDs vs. just eight picks on the year. The playoffs are now in sight, and he's got a chance to find another QB1 gig in 2024 free agency. (+3)
Will Levis Tennessee Titans QB
The Texans all but snapped him in half behind the Titans' bad O-line in Week 15, but he fittingly walked it off; the rookie's been tough as nails trying to elevate Tennessee's transitioning lineup. Give him some protection and let him fly. (-1)
Joe Flacco Cleveland Browns QB
Three picks against the Bears nearly cost the Browns, but then his chuck-it-up mentality returned in crunch time, and Cleveland's now won five of its last seven. He deserves tons of credit for bringing authority to their passing game. (+5)
Jake Browning Cincinnati Bengals QB
It's still too early to suggest he's got the "it" factor capable of guiding a real playoff run, but he's been sharp for consecutive weeks, including against a stingy Vikings "D." His efficiency is keeping Cincinnati in the mix. (+2)
Derek Carr New Orleans Saints QB
If the Saints defense stays dominant, maybe he really can play checkdown and guide a postseason bid. Alvin Kamara feels like his only truly trusted target if Chris Olave isn't on the field, which helps explain the short-area tendencies.
Gardner Minshew Indianapolis Colts QB
The Colts are hanging around the playoff picture, and even still in contention for the AFC South. Minshew has been hit or miss along the way, showing pretty red zone touch one week and losing the ball multiple times the next. (+3)
Kyler Murray Arizona Cardinals QB
Five games into his abbreviated 2023 campaign, he's got as many picks (4) as TDs trying to rocket balls into tight spaces. The elusiveness is undeniable, as always, but Arizona's offense is a total crapshoot at this stage. (-4)
Tommy DeVito New York Giants QB
The magic fizzled out against New Orleans, with the Saints swallowing him whole behind New York's iffy line. The guy certainly still brings some nice moxie to the table, but now you can see how he got thrust into the job in the first place. (-1)
C.J. Beathard Jacksonville Jaguars QB
Trevor Lawrence has bounced back quickly from two injuries this year, but now in concussion protocol, he could be more likely to sit out this time around. In that case, the ex-49ers backup Beathard would get the call against the Buccaneers.
Case Keenum Houston Texans QB
With star rookie C.J. Stroud still recovering from a concussion, the longtime journeyman is on track to make a second straight start for the playoff-aspiring Texans. He wasn't perfect but came up big late for Houston against Tennessee.
Taylor Heinicke Atlanta Falcons QB
Back in the saddle as Arthur Smith flails to generate any semblance of offensive rhythm, Heinicke always brings spunk, but he's often been plagued by forced throws, too. If he can just control the ball, they might have a chance.
Sam Howell Washington Commanders QB
Benched for Jacoby Brissett late in Washington's last go-round, Howell got another endorsement from coach Ron Rivera after the Commanders were eliminated from playoff contention. He'll need to work on cutting down the INTs. (-2)
Nick Mullens Minnesota Vikings QB
After a gutsy but turnover-littered debut against the Bengals, in which Minnesota went to overtime, Mullens will get a second straight nod over rookie Jaren Hall and demoted fill-in Joshua Dobbs. The hot Lions are up next. (+3)
Aidan O'Connell Las Vegas Raiders QB
Maybe all he needed to jump-start his progress was a Thursday night game against the Chargers. O'Connell picked apart a lifeless L.A. secondary to prompt Brandon Staley's dismissal. Let's see what he can do against K.C. (+5)
Easton Stick Los Angeles Chargers QB
Pressed into action with Justin Herbert sidelined due to injury, Stick actually wasn't bad in the Chargers' blowout loss to the Raiders, but his production came well after Las Vegas had already wrapped up the rout. (+2)
Bailey Zappe New England Patriots QB
A week after guiding an ugly win over the Steelers, he kept firing to keep things relatively close against the Chiefs, only to sputter out in the second half. This is his job to lose for the rest of 2023, but who knows what the future holds. (-1)
Bryce Young Carolina Panthers QB
Beating the Falcons put a smile on his face in Week 15, and of course he did it with a score of 9-7. Nothing has come easy for the No. 1 pick in Carolina. All eyes should be on what they can do to help him out this coming offseason. (+1)
Mason Rudolph Pittsburgh Steelers QB
After two games with Mitch Trubisky under center in place of the injured Kenny Pickett, Mike Tomlin pulled the trigger and announced Rudolph as the new replacement. He hasn't started a game since 2021.
Trevor Siemian New York Jets QB
Aaron Rodgers isn't coming back, and Zach Wilson may not, either, after exiting Week 15's blowout loss with a concussion. The Jets probably can't wait to get to the offseason and turn the page on a disastrous season.