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:
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.
**X-factor:** 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 ProFootballFocus.com's ranking of corners. Williams has allowed less than 50 percent of throws his way to be completed. So much for pedigree. #CLEvsATL </content:weekly-predictions>
**X-factors:** 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. #TBvsCHI </content:weekly-predictions>
**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. #CINvsHOU </content:weekly-predictions>
**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. #JAXvsIND </content:weekly-predictions>
**X-factor:** 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. #GBvsMIN </content:weekly-predictions>
**X-factors:** 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. #DETvsNE </content:weekly-predictions>
**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. #TENvsPHI </content:weekly-predictions>
**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. #STLvsSD </content:weekly-predictions>
**X-factor:** Tony Moeaki. Granted, this could be a stretch, but the Cardinals have had some trouble defending tight ends. Moeaki scored a touchdown for the Seahawks 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? #AZvsSEA </content:weekly-predictions>
**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
**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. #WASvsSF </content:weekly-predictions>
**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. #DALvsNYG </content:weekly-predictions>
**X-factor:** 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. #NYJvsBUF </content:weekly-predictions>
**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. #BALvsNO </content:weekly-predictions>
**X-factor:** 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*? #KCvsOAK </content:weekly-predictions>