With my long march back towards (and under) the .500 mark complete, I'd like to take this opportunity to blame my subpar record since week 5 on the NFL's new injury reports. They no longer tell us early in the week which players are doubtful, questionable, or probable. From Tuesday through Thursday the official reports only reveal the degree to which injured players practiced. How in the world am I supposed to pick the Broncos-Chiefs game when all I know about Chiefs third-string quarterback Tyler Thigpen is that he was "limited" yesterday. I guess I'll give it a shot.

New York Giants at Philadelphia (-3) Philadelphia is a rough city for athletes. Last week A.J. Feeley could eat anywhere for free. This week he had to pay double. Pick: New York Giants

Tampa Bay at Houston (+3) The health of Jeff Garcia's balky back is the key to the Bucs season. In order to stay pain free, Garcia should get plenty of rest and stay as far away as possible from Najeh Davenport's acupuncturist. Pick: Houston

Dallas at Detroit (-10.5) On Tuesday NFL head of officiating Mike Pereira sent a letter to Mike Martz reminding him that just like the "forward pass", the "forward run" is also a legal way to move the ball. Pick: Dallas

Miami at Buffalo (-7) The Dolphins just announced the theme for their 2007 holiday party: "Remember how much happier we were at the 2006 holiday party." Pick: Buffalo

Oakland at Green Bay (-10.5) Over the last two weeks Green Bay mayor Jim Schmitt made friendly football bets with the mayors of Dallas and Detroit, but now it looks like he might be developing a gambling problem. After being unable to get any action from Oakland mayor Ron Dellums on this week's game, Schmitt made high-priced wagers with three guys who work in the Oakland City Hall mailroom. Pick: Oakland

Carolina at Jacksonville (-10.5) Numerous NFL players have been donating game checks to a fund for elderly NFL veterans. Vinny Testaverde cuts out the middle man and gets a tax break by donating game checks directly to himself. Pick: Jacksonville

San Diego at Tennessee (Pick'em) After dispatching the Texans last week, Albert Haynesworth ridiculed the struggling Matt Schaub. If the fear of Haynesworth's smack talk can't bust Philip Rivers out of his slump, nothing can. Pick: Tennessee

St. Louis at Cincinnati (-6.5) Marc Bulger should be back after missing last week's game with a concussion. Carson Palmer also hopes to play despite Sunday's bout with acute incompletion syndrome. Pick: St. Louis

Pittsburgh at New England (-10.5) Steelers safety Anthony Smith stirred things up when he guaranteed a victory and said the Bengals receivers the Steelers faced last week are better than those on the Patriots. To make things even easier for Bill Belichick, Smith wrote the full quote down on a bulletin board and mailed it to the Patriots locker room. Pick: Pittsburgh

Arizona at Seattle (-7) Now that the fervor surrounding Drew Carey joining Seattle's MLS franchise has finally died down, the city is once again ready to pay attention to the Seahawks. Pick: Seattle

Minnesota at San Francisco (+9) Viking defensive end Ray Edwards will miss the next four games for violating the league's steroid policy. The theory going around is that the positive results are from using a towel covered in Adrian Peterson's all-natural, testosterone-loaded, superhuman sweat. Pick: Minnesota

Cleveland at New York Jets (+3.5) There is a lot of history between these two teams. Derek Anderson and Kellen Clemens used to play each other as high school and college quarterbacks, and Romeo Crennel used to be Eric Mangini's boss. I wouldn't even be surprised if Jamal Lewis and Shaun Ellis were in the same a-capella group at the University of Tennessee. Pick: New York Jets

Kansas City at Denver (-6.5) Travis Henry won his appeal of a failed drug test and will avoid a mandatory 1-year suspension. Somewhere, someplace, Floyd Landis is ripping his hair out while simultaneously placing a call to Henry's lawyer. Pick: Denver

Indianapolis at Baltimore (+9.5) Bart Scott really showed off his arm strength with last week's flag toss, but he still didn't come anywhere close to any of Ed Hochuli's flag throwing distance records. Pick: Baltimore

New Orleans at Atlanta (-4.5) This isn't widely known, but one of the reasons the Texans passed on Reggie Bush in the 2006 draft is that he graded out as a below averaged lateraler at the scouting combine. Now it's coming back to haunt the Saints. Pick: Atlanta

Last Week: 6-9 Season: 89-91-10

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

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