What is the old adage: the more things change, the more they stay the same? Well, kind of.

At least that is how it seems with the weekly National Football League games, which have been unpredictable and wild, to state the obvious.

Reade Brower

Take Week 10, for example.

Who could have predicted the Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys would blow significant second-half advantages and find interesting ways to lose in overtime to the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers?

To be honest, how does one make heads or tails, rhymes of reasons out the games? Who will win a given game? Who knows? Perhaps flip a coin or have the dog bark once for one team and twice for the other.

But if future games are anything like the incredible Bills-Vikings clash, we want more of that, please and thank you.

A week after the four “Pigskin Pundits” tied with the same weekly record, there was little movement in Week 10, although the top two “pundits” gained a game on the field.

Surely, things could get tighter and more interesting going forward as the “pundits” and their guest jockey for position and the coveted top spot after the final touchdowns, extra points and field goals are compiled.

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

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.

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.

Ken Waltz

Will it be more of the same in Week 11, or will there be a dramatic 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.

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

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

In Week 10, no one lit the world on fire, as Brower and Haskell finished 8-6 and Waltz and Leonard 7-7. Guest Ibrahim Moustapher of Camden also finished 8-6.

Ten weeks into another crazy NFL campaign, Haskell remains in first place at 94-55-1 (.631 winning percentage), Brower second at 92-57-1 (.617), Waltz third at 88-61-1 (.591), Leonard fourth at 87-62-1 (.584) and the guests fifth at 84-65-1 (.564).

Thus, Haskell leads Brower by two games, Waltz six, Leonard seven and guests 10.

This season for the guests, 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, Quinn Commeau of Rockland 11-5 in Week 5 Chris Audet of Searsport 8-6 in Week 6, Casey Holmes of Dixmont 9-5 in Week 7, Sam Bickford of Vinalhaven 9-6 in Week 8, Ethan Abbott of Belmont 9-4 in Week 9 and Ibrahim Moustapher of Camden 8-6 in Week 10.

The Week 11 guest is Connor Light of Warren.

Mark Haskell

Thus far, Brower and Haskell have the best weekly records among the “pundits” at 13-3 in Week 4 when total number of wins are tabulated, or Haskell at 12-2 in Week 7 (.857) if winning percentage is the criteria. Commeau, a 12-year-old seventh-grader, has the top mark among guests at 11-5 in Week 5.

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.

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.

Jim Leonard

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

The games for Week 11 include:

Nov. 17

Tennessee at Green Bay

Nov. 20

Chicago at Atlanta

Cleveland at Buffalo

Philadelphia at Indianapolis

New York Jets at New England

Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans

Detroit at New York Giants

Carolina at Baltimore

Washington at Houston

Las Vegas at Denver

Dallas at Minnesota

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh

Kansas City at Los Angeles Chargers

Nov. 21

San Francisco at Arizona

The Week 11 picks for the “Pigskin Pundits” and their guest include:

Brower — Green Bay, Chicago, Buffalo, Philadelphia, New England, Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants, Baltimore, Washington, Denver, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Kansas City and San Francisco.

Waltz — Green Bay, Chicago, Buffalo, Philadelphia, New England, New Orleans, New York Giants, Baltimore, Washington, Denver, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Kansas City and San Francisco.

Connor Light

Haskell — Tennessee, Chicago, Buffalo, Philadelphia, New England, New Orleans, New York Giants, Baltimore, Washington, Denver, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Kansas City and San Francisco.

Leonard — Green Bay, Atlanta, Buffalo, Philadelphia, New York Jet, New Orleans, New York Giants, Baltimore, Washington, Denver, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Kansas City and San Francisco.

Light — Green Bay, Chicago, Buffalo, Philadelphia, New York Jets, New Orleans, Detroit, Baltimore, Washington, Las Vegas, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Kansas City and San Francisco.

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 former picker Zack 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.