Terrible. Awful. Horrendous. Scary. All perfect adjectives for the Halloween season and, as it turns out, the Week 8 picks of the "Pigskin Pundits," whose predictions last week were, collectively, pungent, putrid and, overall, stunk.

Thus is the roll of the dice each week with the National Football League game predictions. Some weeks one is right, other weeks wrong. Some weeks one is more right, other weeks not so much.

Week 8 was kind of like that — not so much.

Alas, the good news is there is another week to redeem ones self.

It is, thankfully, Week 9 of the NFL regular season and the outcomes of the previous week's prognostications tightened the season's race to victory between the "Pigskin Pundits" and their guests.

That group and their new guest will be back at the prediction game in Week 9 of the 22nd annual version of the "Pigskin Pundits."

After 17 weeks of the regular season — if the NFL can successfully navigate the seemingly never-ending waters churned by COVID-19 — will one from the media company's group or guest have bragging rights?

As usual, the Courier Publications/VillageSoup "Pigskin Pundits" include Reade Brower, owner; Ken Waltz, sports director; Mark Haskell, associate sports director; and 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 8, Haskell finished 8-6, Waltz and Brower 7-7 and Miller 6-8. Guest Matt Petrie of Wiscasset finished 8-6.

The Week 9 guest is Erik Benner of Friendship.

After eight weeks, Miller has compiled a record of 77-41-1 (.653 winning percentage), Waltz 75-43-1 (.636), Haskell 74-44-1 (.627) and Brower 71-47-1 (.602). The guests are 70-48-1 (.593).

For the guests, in Week 1, Dave MacNeill of Warren finished 8-8; Week 2, Howard Fogg Jr. of Monmouth 13-3; Week 3, Rusty Worcester of Cushing 7-8-1; Week 4, Emily Cole of Waldoboro, 6-9; Week 5, Ryan Jackson of Warren, 10-4; Week 6, Richie Oliver of Jefferson, 9-5; Week 7, Casey Holmes of Dixmont, 9-5; and Week 8, Matt Petrie of Wiscasset, 8-6.

For the Courier Publications/VillageSoup crew, Miller and Waltz have the best weekly records at 14-2 in Week 2, while, for the guests, Fogg has the best weekly mark at 13-3 in Week 2.

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 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 ninth week of the 2020-21 schedule includes:

Thursday, Nov. 5

Green Bay at San Francisco

Sunday, Nov. 8

Denver at Atlanta

Seattle at Buffalo

Chicago at Tennessee

Baltimore at Indianapolis

Carolina at Kansas City

Detroit at Minnesota

N.Y. Giants at Washington

Houston at Jacksonville

Las Vegas at Los Angeles Chargers

Pittsburgh at Dallas

Miami at Arizona

New Orleans at Tampa Bay

Monday, Nov. 9

New England at N.Y. Jets

The following are the Week 9 picks of the Courier Publications/VillageSoup "Pigskin Pundit" crew and guest:

Brower — Green Bay, Atlanta, Seattle, Tennessee, Baltimore, Kansas City, MInnesota, N.Y. Giants, Houston, Los Angeles Chargers, Pittsburgh, Arizona, New Orleans and New England.

Waltz — Green Bay, Atlanta, Seattle, Tennessee, Baltimore, Kansas City, Minnesota, Washington, Houston, Los Angeles Chargers, Pittsburgh, Arizona, Tampa Bay and New England.

Haskell — Green Bay, Denver, Seattle, Tennessee, Baltimore, Kansas City, Minnesota, Washington, Houston, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Arizona, Tampa Bay and New England.

Miller — Green Bay, Atlanta, Seattle, Tennessee, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Detroit, Washington, Houston, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Arizona, Saints and New England.

Benner — Green Bay, Atlanta, Seattle, Tennessee, Baltimore, Kansas City, Minnesota, Washington, Houston, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Miami, Tampa Bay and New England.

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.