Now, that was better.

It was an overall strong Week 2 of selections for most prognosticators as they — and their guest — looked to leave a mark, namely, a lot more in the left win column then in the right loss column.

And that happened.

Thus, the second week of National Football League predictions proved a bit more successful for most, with the worst record being 12-4 by Week 1 leader Reade Brower.

In the second week of the 22nd annual version of the "Pigskin Pundits," pickers mostly found the end zone — namely, the winning call.

It is now Week 3 of the regular season and a new opportunity to match wits with the four Courier Publications/VillageSoup regulars and guest in this always unpredictable, seemingly decades-long, pandemic-weary 2020.

After 17 weeks of the regular season — if the NFL can successfully navigate the rough waters churned by COVID-19 — will one from the media company's group or a guest have bragging rights?

As usual, the Courier Publications/VillageSoup crew includes Brower, owner; Ken Waltz, sports director; Mark Haskell, associate sports director; and Zack Miller, sports reporter.

The way it works is each week through the Super Bowl, a guest, along with the VillageSoup group, make predictions on the outcome of games. The outcomes are based on wins and loses, not a point spread.

In Week 2, Miller and Waltz finished 14-2, Haskell 13-3 and Brower 12-4. Guest Howard Fogg Jr. of Monmouth finished 13-3.

After two weeks, Miller is 24-8 (.750 winning percentage), Brower and Waltz 23-9 (.718) and Haskell 19-13 (.594). The guests are 21-11 (.656).

For the guests, in Week 1, Dave MacNeill of Warren finished 8-8, while in Week 2, Howard Fogg Jr. of Monmouth was 13-3.

The Week 3 guest is Rusty Worcester of Cushing.

Waltz has been the regular-season winner the last two years, but others have risen to the top in the postseason.

For decades, the weekly picks were featured in Courier Publications’ newspapers The Courier-Gazette, 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 week — usually on Thursday or Friday — online.

After 17 weeks of regular-season play, 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 one of Courier Publications' newspapers or one of the organization's websites.

For the past two years, the guest winner has been Brad King of Camden, who has clearly proven the “king” of the guest pickers. Last year, he went 12-3-1 in Week 1 to earn the right to pick against Brower, Waltz, Haskell and Miller in the playoffs, while two years ago, King went 11-4 in Week 12 to earn the honors.

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

The third week of the 2020-21 schedule includes:

Thursday, Sept. 24

Miami at Jacksonville

Sunday, Sept. 27

Chicago at Atlanta

Los Angeles Rams at Buffalo

Washington at Cleveland

Tennessee at Minnesota

Las Vegas at New England

San Francisco at N.Y. Giants

Cincinnati at Philadelphia

Houston at Pittsburgh

N.Y. Jets at Indianapolis

Carolina at Los Angeles Chargers

Tampa Bay at Denver

Detroit at Arizona

Dallas at Seattle

Green Bay at New Orleans

Monday, Sept. 28

Kansas City at Baltimore

The following are the Week 3 picks of the Courier Publications/VillageSoup crew and guest:

Brower — Jacksonville, Atlanta, Los Angeles Rams, Cleveland, Tennessee, New England, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Los Angeles Chargers, Denver, Arizona, Seattle, New Orleans and Kansas City.

Waltz — Jacksonville, Atlanta, Buffalo, Cleveland, Tennessee, New England, N.Y. Giants, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Los Angeles Chargers, Tampa Bay, Arizona, Dallas, Green Bay and Baltimore.

Haskell — Jacksonville, Atlanta, Buffalo, Cleveland, Tennessee, New England, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Los Angeles Chargers, Tampa Bay, Arizona, Seattle, Green Bay and Baltimore.

Miller — Jacksonville, Atlanta, Buffalo, Washington, Tennessee, New England, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles Chargers, Tampa Bay, Arizona, Seattle, Green Bay and Baltimore.

Worcester — Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Minnesota, New England, Cleveland, Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta, Los Angeles Chargers, Indianapolis, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Arizona, New Orleans and Baltimore.

History lesson

In 2019-20, 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).

Among the 'Pigskin Pundits,' Brower had the best weekly records at 14-1 in Week 8 and 13-2-1 in Week 1, while Brad King finished 12-3-1 in Week 1 for the best mark among the guests.

In the playoffs, Miller went 9-2, Waltz and Haskell 7-4, Brower 5-6 and King 3-8. Miller, Waltz, Haskell and Brower correctly picked the Kansas City Chiefs to beat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 54, with Haskell’s prediction of 33-23 the closest to the 31-20 final score.

Guest participants in 2019-20 were: Week 1, Brad King of Rockland, 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.

In 2018-19, 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.

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.