NFL Week 12 game picks: Seahawks, Broncos get back on track

Week 12 NFL game picks are in! Week 12 NFL game picks are in!

OK, we'll quit with the faux enthusiasm. There's still some bitterness regarding the Power Rankings -- or, rather, how many fans are still unhappy with them. And we have a couple of other items to get to, including a correction:

My bad. We endeavor to get everything in the Power Rankings right. You are a Bears fan, own a Moses Moreno fathead and went to Kalamazoo College (which is in Lions country).

You're not lying.

Presented without comment.

Other than Murray, most of the tweets I received steered toward J.J. Watt. His Texans host the Bengals. Tom Brady will be taking on the toughest defense in the league up in New England. Peyton Manning looks to rebound -- and get back in the MVP race -- against a stout Dolphins D in Denver. And, uh, Jamaal Charles, anyone?

As for the rest of this week's slate, the predictions are below. Included some cool fun facts just for you, with some help from my boy Blue (@ChristensenDrew). And I always love hearing your take: @HarrisonNFL is the place.

Now, let's get to it!

Elliot Harrison went 10-4 on his predictions for Week 11, giving him a record of 104-56-1 so far this season. How will he fare in Week 12? His picks are below.

Key matchup: The Browns' secondary vs. Julio Jones and Roddy White. Joe Haden and Buster Skrine are having average seasons at best. While both are allowing a completion rate of less than 60 percent, they've given up nine touchdown receptions between them.

 Devonta Freeman. 
 Steven Jackson could be the choice here, but at some point, don't the host 
 Falcons need to see what they have in the rookie running back, who is averaging over half a yard more per carry than Jackson? 
 **Football weirdness:** The little-known 
 K'Waun Williams ranks higher (26th) than his teammates Skrine (56th) and the much-ballyhooed Haden (52nd) on's ranking of corners. Williams has allowed less than 50 percent of throws his way to be completed. So much for pedigree. 

Key matchup: Josh McCown vs. ghosts (including the ghost of what used to be the Bears' defense). McCown played some ball in last week's win over the Redskins, making delicious deep throws and displaying a command of the offense not seen much under Mike Glennon -- or under McCown himself earlier this season, for that matter. While McCown shouldn't press in an effort to show the Bears that letting him walk as a free agent was a bad move, he shouldn't be afraid to let his hair -- er, his flat-top -- down a bit in Chicago, either. This Bears' defense is a far cry from the Julius Peppers-Brian Urlacher- Charles Tillman-led group that was making big plays when McCown first joined the team in 2011. Take 32 guesses as to which squad leads the NFL in points allowed -- and the first 31 don't count.

 Tim Jennings and 
 Kyle Fuller. Who will cover 
 Mike Evans? Both 
 Bears cornerbacks should get a shot, although Fuller has had the better season in coverage. Still, the most popular rookie in September is now far behind Evans in that area; the 
 Buccaneers' newbie has posted 458 receiving yards over his past three games. 
 **Football weirdness:** Those 458 receiving yards represent the best three-game stretch in Bucs history. Not sure if that's an indicator of how fantastic Evans is or an indictment of this organization's history when it comes to the passing game. My money's on the latter. 

Key matchup: The Bengals vs. themselves. The stadium formerly known as Reliant has been a house of horrors for Cincy, which had consecutive playoff campaigns end there in 2011 and 2012. In fact, the Bengals have been bested by the Texans five straight times dating back to 2008.

 **X-factor:** Ryan Mallet's game tape. Does the 
 Texans' quarterback have a tell? Does he have a propensity to go toward one side of the field, or maybe pat the ball a split-second before delivery? These are the kinds of signs 
 Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther will look for -- hints that the 
 Browns didn't have at their disposal in 
 their Week 11 loss to Houston. 
 **Football weirdness:** 
 Andy Dalton posted a 2.0 passer rating vs. Cleveland 
 in Week 10. Then 
 last Sunday in New Orleans, it was 143.9. If you're thinking that 141.9-point difference between games 
 *has* to be some kind of record, well, you're right: It was the largest such bump since 1960. I think Dalton should grow the David Caruso goatee back out. 

Key matchup: Blake Bortles' decision-making vs. a pissed-off Colts defense. Bortles' interception percentage (5.0) is the highest in the NFL, more than twice that of Derek Carr. No joke.

 **X-factor:** Uh, I can't believe I'm typing this, but ... um ... 
 *Trent Richardson?!* 
 Ahmad Bradshaw is done for the host 
 Colts. Maybe Richardson can avoid the backs of his own linemen. 
 **Football weirdness:** NFL analysts are slinking away from Bortles as a rising prospect faster than comic-book nerds backed away from 
 that "Daredevil" movie. 

Key matchup: Aaron Rodgers vs. Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards. Can Edwards confuse Rodgers, who has chillaxed his way to 28 touchdowns against just three interceptions this season? Another issue for Minnesota: The Vikings give up a helluva lot of yards after the catch. Get Randall Cobb's butt on the ground, peeps.

 Eddie Lacy. Dude hasn't gotten more than 14 carries in a game for the visiting 
 Packers since 
 *September*. Minnesota's first-down run defense allows almost 5 yards per shot. Second-and-5 sure sounds like it'll be delicious for the Green Bay offense. 
 **Football weirdness:** Lacy had at least 
 *20 carries* in six straight games last year, and in 11 overall. This season, 
 Jerick McKinnon, of all people, is averaging more runs per start than Lacy. 

Key matchup: Calvin Johnson vs. Darrelle Revis. The premier wide receiver in pro football was held in check (59 receiving yards) during Detroit's loss in Arizona by Patrick Peterson. Revis Island, meanwhile, has been more like Revis Peninsula, as he can be breached by opposing passers -- but not by much. And he's still having a Pro Bowl-caliber season, allowing just 53.1 percent of throws his way to be completed and giving up only one touchdown pass.

 Joique Bell and 
 Jonas Gray. Will Bell's subpar season -- some fault him, some fault the 
 Lions' offensive play-calling -- continue? As for the host 
 Patriots' running back, can Gray get even a third of the 201 yards he just ran for 
 in Indy? 
 **Football weirdness:** Gray's four rushing scores on Sunday night represented 40 percent of 
 *all* rushing touchdowns in Week 11. That's the highest percentage of NFL rushing touchdowns by one player in one week since 1940. 

Key matchup: Tennessee vs. the game clock. The Eagles have run 717 offensive plays from scrimmage in 2014; only the Colts and Steelers have run more, and the latter squad hasn't had its bye week yet. The Titans' defense is in the midst of what is, at best, a middling campaign. To limit possessions in this game -- and thus keep rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger out of a track meet -- Tennessee should lean on Bishop Sankey, who had 11 carries against the Steelers on Monday. Give the rookie twice as many totes and see what he can do. The Titans aren't making the playoffs anyway.

 **X-factor:** The 
 Eagles' offensive line. The group is mostly whole once again, with center 
 Jason Kelce and left guard 
 Evan Mathis returning to the lineup in Weeks 9 and Week 10, respectively. That said, the right side of the line has struggled immensely -- and Kelce has been getting a bit too creative with those shotgun snaps. We just saw Pittsburgh 
 regain control of a contest with the 
 Titans by pounding the ball with 
 Le'Veon Bell. It sure would be nice if 
 LeSean McCoy had some of those holes to run through. 
 **Football weirdness:** The 
 Eagles' last win in this series came 20 years ago, when the 
 Titans were the Houston Oilers. Randall Cunningham and Cody Carlson were the quarterbacks. The Oilers' loss pushed their record to 1-6; three weeks later, head coach Jack Pardee was fired, and a young assistant named 
 Jeff Fisher took over as interim head coach -- the same Fisher who had been Buddy Ryan's defensive coordinator in Philadelphia during the 
 Eagles' playoff seasons of 1989 and 1990. 

Key matchup: The Rams' front four vs. the Chargers' offensive line. St. Louis has been bringing the heat lately, particularly in the form of Robert Quinn. Fellow defensive end William Hayes has just two sacks, but he's been steadily getting pressure; consider his 26 quarterback hurries. The Chargers' offensive line has done a nice job protecting Philip Rivers, but the ground game is breaking hearts -- and not in a good way -- with just 3.15 yards per carry.

 **X-factor:** Enter 
 Ryan Mathews, who could provide relief against that resurgent 
 Rams front, as well as help pick up those awful ground "attack" numbers we just bored you with. This has been a lost season for Mathews, who missed seven games with a knee injury and rushed for 70 yards in 
 his first game back last week. 
 **Football weirdness:** This 
 Shaun Hill is pretty effective when it counts. He has the fifth-highest passer rating in the fourth quarter since 2006, behind only 
 Aaron Rodgers, 
 Tony Romo, 
 Peyton Manning and 
 Tom Brady. Maybe 
 Jeff Fisher was on to something -- as opposed to 
 *on* something -- when he went back to the veteran quarterback. 

Key matchup: The Cardinals vs. the ball. For all the success Arizona has had in 2014, the football has not been the Cardinal receiver's friend. Arizona has dropped 9.6 percent of catchable balls, the highest rate in the league. The Cards can't afford to keep letting plays bounce off their hands in Seattle.

 Tony Moeaki. Granted, this could be a stretch, but the 
 Cardinals have had some trouble defending tight ends. Moeaki scored a touchdown for the 
 last week, and given the lack of wideout production, could become an option for Seattle on third down. 
 **Football weirdness:** How in the world 
 did this happen? 

Key matchup: The Dolphins' pass protection vs. the Broncos' pass rush. Ryan Tannehill was sacked 58 times last year, and he's been sacked eight times in the past two games. DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller, meanwhile, have combined for 19 sacks for the Broncos this season. So, yeah ... you could say this matchup bears watching. What can Miami do? The healthier running back Lamar Miller is, the more those edge rushers will have to think before crashing the pocket.

 **X-factor:** The 
 Dolphins didn't sign 
 Mike Wallace to catch a bunch of 5-yard outs and none-yard ins. He should be averaging 17 yards per catch. Miami's -- make that Tannehill's -- inability to get the ball down the field is freaking epic. Over the past two years, he's 22 of 98 with two touchdowns and nine interceptions on throws that travel 20-plus yards in the air. Hashtag ... ah, what the hell ... hashtag brutal. #squared 
 **Football weirdness:** In their three losses this season, the 
 Broncos logged four rushing first downs ... 
 *total*. Think about that. Four! 

Key matchup: The Redskins vs. internal combustion. If only Robert Griffin III could spread the ball around as well as he does blame. Jay Gruden, meanwhile, fanned the spark of his quarterback's rather inconsequential remarks until he had a fire on his hands. The real question is ... will this team play for its quarterback, or will Washington mail it in over the last six games? Guessing the latter here.

 **X-factor:** He might be having his worst season since Mike Singletary 
 said you can't win with him, but methinks 
 49ers tight end 
 Vernon Davis will make his presence felt before the regular season is through. Redskin safeties 
 Ryan Clark and 
 Brandon Meriweather are being productive ... for opposing teams. Meriweather is allowing quarterbacks to post a 127.1 passer rating against him. 
 **Football weirdness:** 
 The last time Washington won was with the oft-underestimated, ego-less 
 Colt McCoy starting. And the victory came against one of the top teams in the NFL ... on the road, no less. 

Key matchup: Eli Manning vs. Rod Marinelli. Can the Cowboys' defensive coordinator come up with the right mix of coverages to stop the Giants' quarterback? Dallas' defense is not overly complex -- much of the unit's success this season is owed to hustle. Meanwhile, Manning has been mostly outstanding against the Cowboys in his career. This will mark the 15th time Manning and Tony Romo face each other in a regular-season matchup, more than any two active quarterbacks in the league; they've also met in the playoffs once. Romo leads the overall series 8-7. #funfacts

 **X-factor:** The tight end position. 
 Jason Witten has caught 115 balls in 23 career games against the 
 Giants ... that's five per game. As for Witten's New York counterpart, 
 Larry Donnell fumbled twice in 
 the Giants' Week 7 loss to the 
 Cowboys; he also failed to come up with the game-winner in 
 last week's defeat to San Francisco. Motivation. 
 **Football weirdness:** On Sunday, Manning became part of an "elite" group of quarterbacks who have thrown five interceptions in two home games in back-to-back seasons, joining Vinny Testaverde ( 
 Buccaneers), Tommy Kramer ( 
 Vikings) and Joe Namath ( 
 Jets). Get excited, season-ticket holders. 

Key matchup: Kyle Orton vs. third down. After being brilliant on third downs in his first four starts this year, posting a passer rating well north of 100 in those situations, Orton produced a 67.4 and 66.7 rating on third down in the Bills' back-to-back losses. That's consistently ... sucky.

 Michael Vick's wheels. Vick has run for nine first downs over the past three weeks, and he's averaging more than 6 yards per scamper. We know about the pass rush of the host 
 Bills, but if 
 Mario Williams and Co. reach Vick only to see him escape, it might not be the best thing for Buffalo. 
 **Football weirdness:** In terms of yards per rush, Vick is the NFL's all-time best at 7.06 yards per crack. The list (minimum of 1,000 carries) goes like this: 1) Vick, 2) Randall Cunningham, 3) 
 Jamaal Charles, 4) Jim Brown. 

Key matchup: The Ravens' secondary vs. Drew Brees. Brees will get no gimmes in this one, as Baltimore has yielded very little this season in the way of yards after the catch; just five times all year have the Ravens allowed a receiver to run for more than 20 yards after making a grab. Baltimore also boasts the NFL's fifth-best run defense, meaning Brees will have to go to the air and do much by himself.

 **X-factor:** The 
 Saints' home crowd. You can't blame them for going quiet during 
 last week's loss to the Bengals, given the way Cincinnati dominated the game in New Orleans -- which also happened to mark the first time a 
 Sean Payton-coached 
 Saints team lost back-to-back home games since 2009. 
 **Football weirdness:** Did you know the 
 Ravens are the only team Brees has never beaten? He's trying to become the third quarterback to beat every team in the league. Brett Favre and 
 Peyton Manning are the others. 


Key matchup: The Chiefs' running game vs. the Raiders' front seven. Oakland's defense is allowing a minimal 3.8 yards per carry, tied for the seventh-best mark in the NFL. It's been a real bright spot in a season full of 'em, except not at all. Knile Davis will get some work in this game for the visiting Chiefs.

 Latavius Murray got seven touches for 59 yards 
 against the Chargers last week. Perhaps he can add some pop to a 
 Raiders offense that has been more like an underground zit. Hate those. 
 **Football weirdness:** Kansas City has just 781 air yards this season. That's 78 per game. Can you say 
 *dink and dunk* and 
 *none-yard outs*? 

Follow Elliot Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonNFL.

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