Things just got a lot more interesting among the “Pigskin Pundits” and their weekly National Football League game selections.

As we know, a lot can change from week to week when it comes to who wins and loses. It is called the ups and downs, peaks and valleys and the ever-changing nuances of the sport.

Reade Brower

One week a team is the greatest since sliced bread. The next, that same squad is on the scrap of historically bad teams who have so far to go to reach the top. And respectability.

Last week, one “pundit” clawed back to respectability. Cliché aside, he put himself back in the guessing game.

Week 5 of the NFL game predictions saw impressive prediction performances by those at the bottom — namely, the last-place “pundit” and the mired-under-.500 guests.

As the pundits and their weekly guests continue to realize, predicting the outcome of games is harder than it looks — and always a hit-or-miss proposition.

Will it be more of the same in Week 6, or will there be a shakeup? Well, it depends on one’s perspective and what the football gods have in mind.

As they say in the unpredictable world of weekly football game picking, we shall see. The proof will be in the proverbial pudding.

In Week 5, Ken Waltz, who was last a week ago and stuck in the proverbial mud, got back in the game — and conversation — as he finished 12-4, while defending champion and 2022 leader Reade Brower ended 10-6. Mark Haskell and Jim Leonard finished 9-7. Guest Quinn Commeau of Rockland was 11-5.

Five weeks into an already crazy NFL campaign, Brower is first at 49-30-1 (.620 winning percentage), Haskell 48-31-1 (.608), Waltz 45-34-1 (.570), Leonard 44-34-1 (.557) and guests 40-39-1 (.506).

Ken Waltz

The Week 6 guest is Chris Audet of Searsport.

For the guests this season, Sam Adolphsen of Hope finished 6-9-1 in Week 1, Rachel Coor of Damariscotta 7-9 in Week 2, Zach Smith of Belfast 6-10 in Week 3, Dan Falla of Tenants Harbor 10-6 in Week 4 and Quinn Commeau of Rockland 11-5 in Week 5.

Thus far, Brower and Haskell have the best weekly records among the “pundits” at 13-3 in Week 4, while Commeau, a 12-year-old seventh-grader, has the top mark among guests at 11-5 in Week 5.

The MaineStay Media/VillageSoup “Pigskin Pundits” include Brower (company owner), Waltz (sports director), Haskell (associate sports director) and Leonard (The Republican Journal reporter).

Those four, along with a different weekly guest, will pick the outcome of games.

The NFL games got under way on Sept. 8 and, after 18 weeks (17 games) of the regular season, which includes a bye week for all teams, and a few weeks of playoff battles, it will be time for Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12, 2023 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Az.

As the dog days of summer quickly transition into the brisk days of fall, the start of the regular season is upon us as 32 teams gear up for a run at the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Mark Haskell

And, on a Midcoast level, sportswriters and sports aficionados look to prove their mental mettle for bragging rights.

For the 24th year, the MaineStay Media/VillageSoup sports staff ushers in its “Pigskin Pundits” weekly NFL game selections, where readers/fans test their football wits against the “pros.”

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 prognosticators and weekly guest go head-to-head when they pick the winners — no scores or points spreads involved — of that week’s slate of games.

After 18 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 one of MaineStay Media/VillageSoup newspapers or one of the organization’s websites.

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

The games for Week 6 include:

Oct. 13

Washington at Chicago

Oct. 16

San Francisco at Atlanta

New England at Cleveland

Jim Leonard

New York Jets at Green Bay

Jacksonville at Indianapolis

Minnesota at Miami

Cincinnati at New Orleans

Baltimore at New York Giants

Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh

Carolina at Los Angeles Rams

Arizona at Seattle

Buffalo at Kansas City

Dallas at Philadelphia

Oct. 17

Denver at Los Angeles Chargers

The Week 6 picks for the “Pigskin Pundits” and guest include:

Brower — Chicago, San Francisco, New England, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle, Kansas City, Philadelphia and Los Angeles Chargers.

Chris Audet

Waltz — Chicago, San Francisco, New England, Green Bay, Jacksonville, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle, Buffalo, Dallas and Los Angeles Chargers.

Haskell — Washington, San Francisco, New England, New York Jets, Jacksonville, Minnesota, New Orleans, Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle, Kansas City, Philadelphia and Los Angeles Chargers.

Leonard — Washington, San Francisco, Cleveland, Green Bay, Jacksonville, Minnesota, New Orleans, Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle, Buffalo, Philadelphia and Los Angeles Chargers.

Audet — Chicago, San Francisco, New England, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle, Buffalo, Philadelphia and Denver.

History lesson

Last year’s top guest picker was Ryan Verrill of Warren, who finished 12-2 in Week 14, and earned the right to pick against Waltz, Haskell, Brower and Miller in the postseason.

In the playoffs, Haskell and Miller finished 9-4, Waltz 8-5, Brower 7-6 and Verrill 6-7, as Haskell, Waltz and Miller correctly picked the Los Angeles Rams to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI.

Overall in 2021-22, Brower finished 188-96-1 (.662); Haskell, 184-100-1 (.648); Waltz, 180-104-1 (.634); Zack Miller, 176-108-1 (620); and guests, 176-108-1 (620).

MaineStay Media/VillageSoup sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com.