Beat Burt T-shirts

The new “I Beat Burt” T-shirts are in. With teams colors from three NFL teams. Let the games begin. Here Bill Burt shows off a T-shirt from last year.

The “new” NFL is back and as unpredictable as ever.

Week 1 isn’t supposed to be real easy, due to it being the official start to the new season, but this past weekend was a virtual coin flip.

Eight road teams won out of the 15 games on Sunday and Monday night. and nine underdogs.

Those are both high numbers when we pretty much know who the top 10 teams are.

Or do we?

The Green Bay Packers are an automatic pick for you and me. The Ravens are too, most of the time. As for the Bills, we give them a one-week pass because it was the Steelers that whupped them.

The key to picking winners in pro football is identifying 12-win teams and 5-win teams early in the season.

That’s not so easy after Week 1. There are a lot of 6 or 7-win teams that aren’t that good, which makes the act of picking winners tougher than normal.

The Patriots are still a work in progress. There were only six entries that had Miami, a 10-6 team a year ago. Six. I’m guessing that number will be smaller with the Patriots next opponent, the Jets. But is that an automatic win? Is there an automatic win, home or away?

I’d like to say we will know a lot more about the NFL after two weeks, but I’m guessing we are almost a month way from those 13-2 weeks.

Anyway, it’s great to be back, speeding up our fall and early winter weeks.

While there were a fair share of entries that picked more winners than my eight wins (thank you, Raiders!), I beat the vast majority of the 334 entries, even with my “mediocre” week.

Each week there are a maximum of 10 winners (unless somebody picks more winners AND has Pats point total exactly).

All of this week’s winners had at least 9 or 10 correct selections and all were within five points of the Patriots’ point total of 16. The second tiebreaker — amount of correct selections — was needed for those that had the Patriots scoring 21 points.

Remember, the Patriots point total is the first tiebreaker. That is important. Most entries were over 23 points, but I’m guessing that won’t be the case going forward until Mac Jones starts lighting up the scoreboard.

Week 1 winners

Daniel Beauchesne of Salem, N.H.

James Dexter of Methuen

Daniel Grayton of Cambridge

Don DiMatteo of Atkinson, N.H.

Robert Bilodeau of Seabrook, N.H.

George Assad of North Andover

Skip Trombly of North Andover

Khloe Rios of Methuen

Gail Fournier of Derry, N.H.

Carol Dionne of Haverhill

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