Football bragging rights

'Pigskin Pundits' tackle 14th week of NFL picks

Gap closes between leader Miller, nearest pursuers Waltz and Haskell
By Staff | Dec 06, 2018
Photo by: Logo courtesy of National Football League

Rockland — This is the 14th week of the 2018-19 National Football League season and the weekly game picks from the Courier Publications/VillageSoup prognosticators and guests have resulted in plenty of good — and bad — gridiron guessing success for a schedule now in its final stretch.

In Week 13, Courier Publications/VillageSoup Owner Reade Brower finished 9-7, Sports Director Ken Waltz 10-6, Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell 11-5 and sports reporter Zack Miller 9-7. Guest Marty Messer of Rockport finished 7-9.

Thus far this season, through 13 weeks, Miller leads the pack at 118-72-2 (.621 winning percentage), while Waltz is second at 116-74-2 (.611), Haskell 112-78-2 (.589) and Brower 103-87-2 (.542). The guests are 109-81-2 (.586).

For the guests, in Week 1, Howard Fogg of Monmouth finished 7-8-1; Week 2, Ethan Butler of Appleton, 9-6-1; Week 3, Richard Carlsen of Vinalhaven, 9-7; Week 4, Jason Karam of Warren, 8-7; Week 5, Sandy Cameron of Belfast, 9-6; Week 6, Scott Case of Belfast 8-7; Week 7, Dwight Collins of Lincolnville 10-4; Week 8, Bruce Turner of Orrington 9-5; Week 9, Ricky Bagnall of Rockland 9-4; Week 10, Kyle Donlin 7-7; Week 11, Laurie Cole of Rockland, 6-7; Week 12, Brad King of Rockland 11-4; and Week 13, Marty Messer of Rockport, 7-9.

The Week 14 guest is Josh Toothaker of Searsport.

This is the 20th straight year the "Pigskin Pundits" make their weekly NFL game selections.

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

The picks appear each Thursday online.

Each year during the NFL season, through the Super Bowl, Brower, Waltz, Haskell and a weekly guest went head-to-head against one another by picking that week’s slate of pro football games. This year, sports reporter Miller joins the group to try to earn football picking bragging rights.

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

After 16 weeks, the guest with the best weekly record will return 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.

Those interested in being a weekly guest picker should email Haskell at mhaskell@courierpublicationsllc.com.

So, who do you like in Week 14? Here is what our "experts" and guest think:

The Week 14 schedule includes:

Thursday, Dec. 6

Jacksonville at Tennessee

Sunday, Dec. 9

N.Y. Jets at Buffalo

Carolina at Cleveland

Atlanta at Green Bay

Baltimore at Kansas City

New England at Miami

New Orleans at Tampa Bay

N.Y. Giants at Washington

Indianapolis at Houston

Cincinnati at Los Angeles Chargers

Denver at San Francisco

Philadelphia at Dallas

Pittsburgh at Oakland

Detroit at Arizona

Los Angeles Rams at Chicago

Dec. 10

Minnesota at Seattle

The following are the Week 14 picks of the Courier Publications/VillageSoup crew and the weekly guest:

Brower —Tennessee, Buffalo, Carolina, Green Bay, Kansas City, New England, New Orleans, Washington, Houston, Los Angeles Chargers, Denver, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Los Angeles Rams and Seattle.

Waltz — Tennessee, Buffalo, Cleveland, Green Bay, Kansas City, New England, New Orleans, N.Y. Giants, Houston, Los Angeles Chargers, Denver, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Los Angeles Rams and Seattle.

Haskell — Tennessee, Buffalo, Cleveland, Green Bay, Kansas City, New England, New Orleans, N.Y. Giants, Houston, Los Angeles Chargers, Denver, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago and Seattle.

Miller — Tennessee, N.Y. Jets, Cleveland, Atlanta, Kansas City, New England, New Orleans, N.Y. Giants, Houston, Los Angeles Chargers, Denver, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Los Angeles Rams and Seattle.

Toothaker — Tennesseee, N.Y. Jets, Cleveland, Green Bay, Kansas City, New England, New Orleans, N.Y. Giants, Houston, Los Angeles Chargers, Denver, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Los Angeles Rams and Seattle.

History lesson

Last season, Brower was the “top dog” as he finished with a 178-78 record (.695 winning percentage), while the weekly guests finished second at 169-87 (.660), Haskell third at 156-100 (.609) and Waltz fourth at 153-103 (.598).

As a guest picker last season in Week 8, Miller finished a perfect 13-0 and earned the right to pick against Waltz, Haskell and Brower in the playoffs, along with Sandy Cameron of Belfast and Mark Cooper of Fairfield, who finished with 13-3 records in Week 13 and Week 16, respectively.

As an employee in another Brower company, Miller was ineligible to collect the free year’s subscription, but picked playoff games along with Cameron and Cooper, who had the second-best guest marks.

Haskell, Miller and Cooper correctly picked the Philadelphia Eagles to defeat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.

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

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