Football bragging rights

Miller time so far in playoffs, but who do 'Pigskin Pundits' like in next round?

In postseason, Miller surges to 6-2 mark, leads Haskell, Waltz by two games
By Staff | Jan 18, 2020
Artwork by: Christine Dunkle

Someone appears to have most of the the answers to the playoff test and that person is Zack Miller. Is there sign stealing going on here?

After two weeks of the National Football League postseason, Miller, who finished last during the regular season, has summoned his "A" game when the spotlight has shone brightest.

With that stated, the "Pigskin Pundits" and their guest will try to improve on their predictions in the third week of the postseason.

In Divisional Round, Miller and Ken Waltz finished 3-1, Mark Haskell and Reade Brower 2-2 and guest Brad King of Rockland 1-3.

In the previous week's Wild Card round, Miller also finished 3-1, while Haskell was 2-2 and Brower, Waltz and King  1-3.

Thus, in the playoffs, Miller is 6-2, Waltz and Haskell 4-4, Brower 3-5 and King 2-6.

The National Football League postseason began on Saturday, Jan. 4 and concludes with Super Bowl LIV on Sunday, Feb. 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Fla.

Thus, the third steps on teams' run for the coveted league championship commences this weekend.

It is third week of the 2019-20 playoffs and, subsequently, the weekly game picks from the Courier Publications/VillageSoup prognosticators and guests.

Those who participate — referred to as the "Pigskin Pundits" — are Brower, owner; Waltz, sports director; Haskell, associate sports director; and Miller, sports reporter. A guest also participates each week.

The picks appear each week — usually later in the week or early in the weekend — online.

Each year during the NFL season, through the Super Bowl, Brower, Waltz, Haskell, Miller, as well as a weekly guest, go head-to-head against one another by picking that week’s slate of pro football games.

The game “winners” are not selected by a points spread, but merely the final score.

King had the best weekly record this season — as he did last year — and is the guest who will pick with the "pundits" during the playoffs.

Thus, after 17 regular-season weeks, Waltz finished 165-90-1 (.647 winning percentage), Brower 159-96-1 (.624), Haskell 158-97-1 (.620), Miller 155-100-1 (.608) and guests 158-97-1 (.620). Overall, Waltz is 166-93-1, Brower 160-99-1, Haskell 160-99-1, Miller 158-101-1 and the guests 159-100-1.

For the guests in 2019-20, in Week 1, Brad King of Rockland finished 12-3-1; in Week 2, Michele Scheffler of Jefferson, 8-8; in Week 3, Howard Fogg of Monmouth, 11-5; in Week 4, Ethan Butler of Appleton, 7-8; in Week 5, Scott Case of Belfast, 7-8; in Week 6, Emily Cole of Waldoboro, 9-5; in Week 7, Casey Holmes of Dixmont, 11-3; in Week 8, Jacob Light of Warren, 10-5; in Week 9, Chad Blake of Rockland, 6-8; Week 10, Brad Strong of Rockland, 4-9; Week 11, Otis Kneeland of Stockton Springs, 10-4; Week 12, Chris Hart of Rockport, 10-4; Week 13, Sandy Cameron of Belfast, 11-5; Week 14, Dagney Ernest of Thomaston, 10-6; Week 15, Lynsey Carr of Augusta, 11-5; Week 16, Connor Kneeland of Stockton Springs, 12-4; and Week 17, Laura MacDonald, 10-6.

Among Courier Publications/VillageSoup prognosticators, Brower had the best weekly records at 14-1 in Week 8 and 13-2-1 in Week 1, while King, also last year's guest winner, finished 12-3-1 in Week 1 for the best mark among the guests.

After 17 weeks, the guest with the best weekly record returns to pick against Waltz, Haskell, Miller and Brower for the playoffs and Super Bowl. The guest with the best weekly record also will receive a year's subscription to any of Courier Publications' newspapers or either of the organization's websites.

Last year’s guest winner was King, who finished 11-4 in Week 12 and earned the right to pick against Waltz, Haskell, Miller and Brower in the playoffs.

For decades, the weekly picks were featured in the print editions of Courier Publications’ newspapers, The Courier-GazetteThe Camden Herald and The Republican Journal. Now, those picks are made exclusively on the organization’s websites — knox.villagesoup.com and waldo.villagesoup.com.

It also is the 21st year the media company has coordinated weekly game picks during the pro football campaign.

So, who do you like in the conference championship battles between American Football Conference and National Football Conference opponents? Below is what our "experts" and guest think.

The third week's playoff schedule includes:

Sunday, Jan. 19

AFC — Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs, 3:05 p.m.

NFC — Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers, 6:40 p.m.

The following are the third week's playoff picks of the Courier Publications/VillageSoup crew and guest:

Brower — Kansas City and Green Bay.

Waltz — Kansas City and San Francisco.

Haskell — Kansas City and San Francisco.

Miller — Kansas City and San Francisco.

King — Tennessee and San Francisco.

History lesson

Last season, Waltz was the “top dog” in the regular season as he finished 161-93-2 (.634 winning percentage), thanks to a 16-0 final week, while Miller was second at 157-97-2 (.618), Haskell third at 151-103-2 (.594) and Brower fourth at 142-112-2 (.559). The guests finished 148-106-2 (.583).

Overall, Waltz finished 167-98-2, Miller 162-103-2, Haskell 158-107-2, Brower 150-115-2 and guests 159-110-2.

Last year’s weekly guest winner was Brad King of Rockland, who went 11-4 in Week 12 and earned the right to pick against Waltz, Haskell, Miller and Brower in the playoffs.

In the postseason, Brower finished 8-3, Haskell and King 7-4, Waltz 6-5 and Miller 5-6. All five correctly picked the Patriots to defeat the Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

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