Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
To go along with our package on MVPs, I chose one for each of the NFC South's teams. New Orleans and Atlanta were easy. Carolina and Tampa Bay, the top teams in the division, were a little harder. In each case, I went with the guy who I think has meant the most to his team.
He has given the Falcons a consistently good running game and has put up better numbers than LaDainian Tomlinson, the guy he spent four years backing up in San Diego. That's taken the pressure off Ryan and kept the defense fresh. Without Turner, the Falcons wouldn't be anywhere close to the playoff picture.
But I'm going off the beaten path here. Carolina is in the spot it is in mainly because of its defense.
Peppers is having a very good year, but I'm going with Beason.
The logic is that game in and game out, he's the best player on a very good defense.
He's putting up huge numbers and, aside from Lance Moore, he's been the only consistent bright spot on this team.
Much has been made that Brees' numbers are inflated and not that important because the team's record isn't that great.
But what would that record be without Brees?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, LB Barrett Ruud:
I was tempted to go with receiver Antonio Bryant, who is having a phenomenal year after being out of the NFL last season. But, much like the Panthers, the Bucs are winning because of their defense. No one is more important to that defense than Ruud. With Derrick Brooks, Kevin Carter and Ronde Barber nearing the ends of their careers, Ruud has stepped up as the best player on this defense and has made the changing of the guard a very smooth process.
6:00 PM ET Atlanta Jacksonville 7:00 PM ET Detroit Buffalo 7:00 PM ET Indianapolis Cincinnati 7:00 PM ET New York Philadelphia 7:00 PM ET St. Louis Miami 7:00 PM ET Kansas City Green Bay 7:30 PM ET Carolina Pittsburgh 7:30 PM ET New England New York 7:30 PM ET Washington Tampa Bay 8:00 PM ET Baltimore New Orleans 8:00 PM ET Chicago Cleveland 8:00 PM ET San Francisco Houston 8:00 PM ET Minnesota Tennessee 8:00 PM ET Denver Dallas 10:00 PM ET Arizona San Diego 10:00 PM ET Seattle Oakland