Perfection for some and a little less for others were the outcomes in the second week of the National Football League playoff game predictions as the "Pigskin Pundits" and their guest prepare to tackle two of the final three games of the 2020-21 campaign.

And despite the pandemic, at this point, it appears the season will finish on schedule, as the conference championships will be played this weekend and Super Bowl LV on Sunday, Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Fla.

The "Pigskin Pundits" include Courier Publications/VillageSoup's Reade Brower, owner; Ken Waltz, sports director; Mark Haskell, associate sports director; and Zack Miller, sports reporter. The playoff guest is Howard Fogg Jr. of Monmouth.

The "Pigskin Pundits," along with their best guest of the regular season, match wits in the postseason.

Last weekend, in the divisional round of the playoffs, Haskell, Miller and Waltz finished 4-0, while Brower and Howard ended 3-1. Thus, in two weeks of postseason predicitions, Miller, Haskell and Waltz are 8-2, Fogg 7-3 and Brower 6-4.

Brower earned the regular-season championship in the 22nd year of the "Pigskin Pundits" and those four media members, along with Fogg, pick the outcome of playoff games.

Each week, through the Super Bowl, predictions on the outcome of games are based on wins and loses and not a points spread.

The American Football Conference and National Football Conference championship games include:

Sunday, Jan. 24

NFC: No. 5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at No. 1 Green Bay Packers.

AFC: No. 2 Buffalo at No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs.

The following are the conference championships game picks of the "Pigskin Pundits" and guest:

Brower — Green Bay and Buffalo.

Waltz — Green Bay and Buffalo.

Haskell — Tampa Bay and Kansas City.

Miller — Green Bay and Buffalo.

Fogg — Green Bay and Kansas City.

After 17 weeks of the 2020-21 regular season, Brower finished at 166-89-1 (.651 winning percentage), Waltz 164-91-1 (.643), Haskell 163-92-1 (.639) and Miller 160-95-1 (.627). The guests finished 159-56-1 (.624).

Ultimately, after 256 gridiron clashes from September to January, that included one tie, Brower prevailed by two games over Waltz, three over Haskell and six over Miller, as well seven over the guests.

At this point, including the playoffs, Brower and Waltz 172-93-1 (.649), Haskell 171-94-1 (.645), Miller 168-97-1 (.633) and the guests 166-59-1 (.626).

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; Week 8, Matt Petrie of Wiscasset, 8-6; Week 9, Erik Benner of Friendship, 10-4; Week 10, Sandy Cameron of Belfast, 6-8; Week 11, Meagan Miller of Warren, 9-5; Week 12, Austin Haskell of Rockland, 11-5; Week 13, Lucas Brower of Rockland, 11-4; Week 14, Garrett French of Warren, 11-4; Week 15, Brad King of Camden, 10-6; Week 16, Sam Clement of Bennington, Vt. (originally from Lincolnville), 9-7; and Week 17, Laurie Cole of Rockland, 12-4.

For the media crew, Miller and Waltz finished tied with the best weekly records at 14-2 in Week 2, while, for the guests, Fogg earned the best weekly mark at 13-3 in Week 2, thus will pick against the media members in the playoffs.

As the top guest, Fogg also will receive a free one-year subscription to one of the media company's three Midcoast papers or two online sites.

Waltz was the regular-season winner the previous 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-GazetteCamden Herald and The Republican Journal. Now, those picks are made exclusively on the organization’s websites — and

The picks appear each week online.

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

For the previous two years, the guest winner was 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.

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 or by phone at 594-4401.