This is the third week of the 2018-19 National Football League season and the weekly game picks from the Courier Publications/VillageSoup prognosticators and guests have gotten off to auspicious starts.

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

In Week 2, Courier Publications/VillageSoup Owner Reade Brower finished 8-7-1, Sports Director Ken Waltz 11-4-1, Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell 9-6-1 and sports reporter Zack Miller 7-8-1. Guest Ethan Butler, 12, of Appleton finished 9-6-1.

Thus far this season, Waltz is 19-11-2 (.633 winning percentage), Haskell 18-12-2 (.600), Miller 16-14-2 (.533) and Brower 13-17-2 (.433). The guests are 16-14-2 (.533).

In Week 1, Howard Fogg of Monmouth finished 7-8-1 and in Week 2 Ethan Butler of Appleton finished 9-6-1.

The Week 3 guest is Richard Carlsen of Vinalhaven.

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.

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

So, who do you like in Week 3? Here is what our group and guest think:

The Week 3 schedule:

Thursday, Sept. 20

N.Y. Jets at Cleveland

Sunday, Sept. 23

New Orleans at Atlanta

San Francisco at Kansas City

Oakland at Miami

Buffalo at Minnesota

Indianapolis at Philadelphia

Green Bay at Washington

Cincinnati at Carolina

Tennessee at Jacksonville

Denver at Baltimore

N.Y. Giants at Houston

Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams

Chicago at Arizona

Dallas at Seattle

New England at Detroit

Monday, Sept. 24

Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay

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

Brower — N.Y. Jets, Atlanta, Kansas City, Miami, Minnesota, Indianapolis, Green Bay, Carolina, Jacksonville, Baltimore, N.Y. Giants, Los Angeles Rams, Chicago, Seattle, New England and Tampa Bay.

Waltz — Cleveland, New Orleans, Kansas City, Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Green Bay, Carolina, Jacksonville, Baltimore, Houston, Los Angeles Rams, Chicago, Seattle, New England and Tampa Bay.

Haskell — Cleveland, Atlanta, Kansas City, Miami, Minnesota, Indianapolis, Green Bay, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Baltimore,  Houston, Los Angeles Rams, Chicago, Dallas, New England and Pittsburgh.

Miller — Cleveland, New Orleans, Kansas City, Oakland, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Green Bay, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Baltimore, Houston, Los Angeles Rams, Chicago, Seattle, New England and Pittsburgh.

Carlsen — N.Y. Jets, Atlanta, Kansas City, Miami, Minnesota, Indianapolis, Washington, Carolina, Jacksonville, Baltimore, N.Y. Giants, Los Angeles Rams, Chicago, Seattle, New England and Pittsburgh.

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.