Ah, Thanksgiving. The time when the NFL bestows an unfair advantage on the Lions and Cowboys in the name of tradition. (That's right silver and blue fans, I'm questioning your hallowed Thanksgiving birthright.) In years past the league could always hide behind "the Lions need all the help they can get" jokes, but that won't work this year. Both Thanksgiving hosts are playoff contenders, and both have the luxury of playing home games during short weeks. That just isn't fair, nor is it fair that the last time Jason Hanson got to watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving the Soviet Union still existed. For Hanson's sake, it's time for a change.

Now let's move on to some very special Thanksgiving picks.

Green Bay at Detroit (+3.5): In order to quiet the skeptics who say he will never be the analyst John Madden is, Troy Aikman is promising to eat two whole turduckens live on the air during halftime. Pick: Detroit

New York Jets at Dallas (-14): Kellen Clemens did a decent job leading the Jets to game-tying and game-winning field goals last week, but let's not forget about the good work Chad Pennington did on the sideline making sure that Eric Mangini didn't trip on any headset wires. Pick: Dallas

Indianapolis at Atlanta (+11.5): The Colts aren't the only team being hurt by Adam Vinatieri's poor play. Thanks to his league-leading four red cards, Vinatieri's rec league soccer team is mired in last place. Pick: Indianapolis

Houston at Cleveland (-3.5): For this week's trick, Phil Dawson will kick a field goal that hits the right upright, ricochets off the referee's head, bounces off the left upright, caroms off the goalpost support, and lands smack dab in the middle of the "O" in the endzone grass. Pick: Houston

Buffalo at Jacksonville (-7.5): Hoping to restore the confidence of his defensive players, Dick Jauron spent the week watching Men in Black, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and The Manchurian Candidate. Much to his chagrin, he found that none of the memory erasing techniques in those movies are very feasible. Pick: Jacksonville

Washington at Tampa Bay (-3): Being prepared is so important to Bucs coach Jon Gruden that in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving he watches two hours of film on turkey basting every single day. Pick: Tampa Bay

Tennessee at Cincinnati (+1): Titans fans looking for an easy way to taunt Carson Palmer have single-handedly increased Antrel Rolle jersey sales by 800 percent. The rising demand has forced the NFL Shop to hire four new employees. Pick: Tennessee

Seattle at St. Louis (+3): You know what's great about the NFL? Despite the fact that the Rams lost their first eight games, a win this week will put them closer to first place than the Redskins, Eagles, Bengals, Bills, Vikings, and Bears. Oh, and by "great about the NFL," I mean "a telltale sign of divisional imbalance." Pick: St. Louis

Oakland at Kansas City (-5.5): Do you know why Lane Kiffin won't start JaMarcus Russell? Kiffin is still angry that when the two of them go out for drinks he has to show I.D. and Russell doesn't. Pick: Oakland

Minnesota at New York Giants (-7): Michael Strahan's summer workout strategy of holding out and not going to training camp is paying off big time. Look for other players to copy his program next off-season. Pick: New York Giants

New Orleans at Carolina (+3): On Friday the Saints will hold a scrimmage against the University of Louisiana-Monroe in order to determine who is the most talented football team in the city of New Orleans. ULM is favored by three points. Pick: Carolina

Baltimore at San Diego (-9.5): Norv Turner has begun spending his afternoons playing Madden '08 in the hope of picking up some coaching tips from the game's artificial intelligence. Pick: Baltimore

San Francisco at Arizona (-10.5): In the old days, the worst thing that could happen to an NFL team was signing Jeff George or getting busted for a sex boat party. This year, it's losing to the struggling 49ers that could completely demoralize a franchise. Pick: San Francisco

Denver at Chicago (-1): Brian Urlacher believes so strongly in the "give a man a fish ... teach a man to fish" proverb, that instead of merely serving Thanksgiving dinner to the needy, he's taking a group of local homeless people on a hunting trip and teaching them how to kill a turkey. Pick: Denver

Philadelphia at New England (-22): The Eagles will take the field on Sunday as the biggest underdogs in more than 30 years. Although expectations are low, you can be sure that Eagles fans will still find a way to be disappointed in the team's performance. Pick: New England

Miami at Pittsburgh (-16): It's about time Mike Tomlin got some recognition for being the coolest coach in the NFL. His patented "flip the headset microphone over the head" move is already being copied by numerous coaches around the country. Pick: Miami

Last Week: 7-8-1 Season: 76-73-10

Got something to say to Eric? E-mail him at extramustardnflpicks@gmail.com

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.