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Football bragging rights

Who you got in next round of playoffs? 'Pigskin Pundits' have their thoughts

Miller makes it look easy in first week of postseason at 3-1, Haskell 2-2, Brower, Waltz, King 1-3
By Staff | Jan 11, 2020
Artwork by: Christine Dunkle

It was a mostly rough opening week for most — except Zack Miller — in picking first-round playoff game winners so the "Pigskin Pundits" and their guest will try to do better in the second week of the postseason.

In the Wild Card round, Miller proved mostly on the mark at 3-1, while Mark Haskell was 2-2 and Reade Brower, Ken Waltz and guest Brad King of Rockland 1-3.

And to put salt in the wounds, the New England Patriots lost (and for Eagle fan Haskell,  also Philadelphia). Double ouch.

Oh well, onward and upward

The National Football League postseason began on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 4-5 and continues on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 11-12.

Thus, the second steps on teams' run for the coveted Super Bowl championship commences this weekend.

It is second 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 — 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.

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 Brad King of Rockland, also last year's guest winner, finished 12-3-1 in Week 1 for the best mark among the guests.

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.

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 Divisional Round in battles between American Football Conference and National Football Conference opponents? Below is what our "experts" and guest think.

The second week's playoff schedule includes:

Saturday, Jan. 11

NFC: Minnesota at San Francisco — 4:35 p.m.

AFC: Tennessee at Baltimore — 8:15 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 12

AFC: Houston at Kansas City — 3:05 p.m.

NFC: Seattle at Green Bay — 6:40 p.m.

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

Brower — San Franciso, Baltimore, Kansas City and Seattle.

Waltz — San Francisco, Baltimore, Kansas City and Green Bay.

Haskell — Seattle, San Francisco, Baltimore and Kansas City.

Miller — San Francisco, Baltimire, Kansas City and Green Bay.

King — San Francisco, Baltimore, Houston and Seattle.

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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