Football bragging rights

'Pigskin Pundits' tackle second week of NFL picks

Haskell, Miller lead after first week of selections
By Staff | Sep 13, 2018

Rockland — This is the second week of the 2018-19 National Football League season and the weekly game picks from the Courier Publications/VillageSoup prognosticators and guest got off to an auspicious start.

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

In Week 1, Courier Publications/VillageSoup Owner Reade Brower finished 5-10-1, Sports Director Ken Waltz 8-7-1, Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell 9-6-1 and sports reporter Zack Miller 9-6-1. The guest, Howard Fogg of Monmouth, finished 7-8-1.

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 will 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.

The Week 2 guest is Ethan Butler, 12, of Appleton.

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

So, who do you like in Week 2? Here is what our group and guest think:

The Week 2 schedule:

Thursday, Sept. 13

Baltimore at Cincinnati

Sunday, Sept. 16

Carolina at Atlanta

Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo

Minnesota at Green Bay

Houston at Tennessee

Cleveland at New Orleans

Miami at N.Y. Jets

Kansas City at Pittsburgh

Philadelphia at Tampa Bay

Indianapolis at Washington

Arizona at Los Angeles Rams

Detroit at San Francisco

Oakland at Denver

New England at Jacksonville

N.Y. Giants at Dallas

Monday, Sept. 17

Seattle at Chicago

The following are the picks of the Courier Publications/VillageSoup group and the weekly guest:

Brower — Cincinnati, Atlanta, Los Angeles Chargers, Green Bay, Houston, New Orleans, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco, Denver, New England, Dallas and Seattle.

Waltz — Cincinnati, Atlanta, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota, Tennessee, New Orleans, N.Y. Jets, Kansas City, Tampa Bay, Washington, Los Angeles Rams, Detroit, Denver, Jacksonville, Dallas and Seattle.

Haskell — Cincinnati, Atlanta, Los Angeles Chargers, Green Bay, Houston, New Orleans, N.Y. Jets, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Washington, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco, Oakland, Jacksonville, N.Y. Giants and Chicago.

Miller — Baltimore, Carolina, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota, Tennessee, New Orleans, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington, Los Angeles Rams, Detroit, Denver, New England, N.Y. Giants and Chicago.

Butler — Baltimore, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Houston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, N.Y. Jets, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota, New Orleans, Detroit, Los Angeles Rams, New England, Denver, Dallas and Chicago.

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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