Football bragging rights

Things get interesting as 'Pigskin Pundits' tackle Week 12

Brower makes in-roads in quest to chase down Waltz from behind
By Staff | Nov 21, 2019

As the season heads down the second-half stretch, things have gotten quite interesting for the gridiron prediction crew and their guests.

It is the 12th week of the 2019-20 National Football League season and, subsequently, the weekly game picks from the Courier Publications/VillageSoup prognosticators and guests.

Those who participate — referred to as the "Pigskin Pundits" — are Reade Brower, owner; Ken Waltz, sports director; Mark Haskell, associate sports director; and Zack Miller, sports reporter. A guest also participates each week.

The picks appear each Thursday online.

Each year during the NFL season, through the Super Bowl, Brower, Waltz, Haskell, Miller, as well as a weekly guest, go head-to-head against one another by picking that week’s slate of pro football games.

The game “winners” are not selected by a points spread, but merely the final score.

For the 2019-20 season, in Week 11, Brower and Miller finished 11-3, Haskell 10-4 and Waltz 9-5, while guest was 10-4.

Thus, after 11 weeks, Waltz is 109-52-1 (.673 winning percentage), Brower 102-59-1 (.630), Haskell 99-62-1 (.611), Miller 98-63-1 (.605) and guests 94-67-1 (.580).

The Week 12 guest is Chris Hart of Rockport.

Among Courier Publications/VillageSoup prognosticators, Brower has the best weekly records at 14-1 in Week 8 and 13-2-1 in Week 1, while Brad King of Rockland, last year's guest winner, finished 12-3-1 in Week 1 for the best mark among the guests.

For the guests in 2019-20, in Week 1, Brad King of Rockland finished 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; and Week 11, Otis Kneeland of Stockton Springs, 10-4.

After 17 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 any of Courier Publications' newspapers or either of the organization's websites.

Last year’s guest winner was King, who went 11-4 in Week 12 and earned the right to pick against Waltz, Haskell, Miller and Brower in the playoffs.

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

For decades, the weekly picks were featured in the print editions of Courier Publications’ newspapers, The Courier-GazetteThe Camden Herald and The Republican Journal. Now, those picks are made exclusively on the organization’s websites — knox.villagesoup.com and waldo.villagesoup.com.

It also is the 21st year the media company has coordinated weekly game picks during the pro football campaign.

So, who do you like in Week 12? Below is what our "experts" and guest think.

The Week 12 schedule includes:

Thursday, Nov. 21

Indianapolis at Houston

Sunday, Nov. 24

Tampa Bay at Atlanta

Denver at Buffalo

N.Y. Giants at Chicago

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati

Miami at Cleveland

Carolina at New Orleans

Oakland at N.Y. Jets

Seattle at Philadelphia

Detroit at Washington

Jacksonville at Tennessee

Dallas at New England

Green Bay at San Francisco

Monday, Nov. 25

Baltimore at Los Angeles Rams

The following are the Week 12 picks of the Courier Publications/VillageSoup crew and weekly guest:

Brower — Houston, Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, New Orleans, Oakland, Seattle, Detroit, Tennessee, New England, Green Bay and Los Angles Rams.

Waltz — Houston, Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, New Orleans, Oakland, Philadelphia, Detroit, Tennessee, Dallas, Green Bay and Baltimore.

Haskell — Houston, Atlanta, Buffalo, N.Y. Giants, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, New Orleans, Oakland, Seattle, Detroit, Tennessee, Dallas, Green Bay and Baltimore.

Miller — Houston, Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, New Orleans, Oakland, Seattle, Detroit, Tennessee, New England, San Francisco and Baltimore.

Hart — Houston, Atlanta, Denver, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, New Orleans, N.Y. Jets, Seattle, Detroit, Tennessee, New England, Green Bay and Baltimore.

History lesson

Last season, 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.

Last year’s weekly guest winner was 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.

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