A rarity: Pats were not favored pick

Only one week left to win an "I Beat Burt" Contest T-shirt. Send in your entry blank or play it on-line. Good luck!

And then there was one. As in one week remaining in the 2020 NFL season.

The best part of Week 16 was the Buffalo-New England game. Normally, even with the Bills being 7-point favorites, the Patriots would be the pick for about 75 percent of the entries.

Not this past week, which tells me that with season nearing its end, winning a T-shirt supersedes the love of the home team. In fact, 85 percent of all entries picked the Bills to beat the Patriots, the most in picks against the Patriots in more than a decade. Maybe longer.

Of course, this is the worst Patriots showing in 20 years and with them having nothing to play for, it played out that way in the Week 16 "I Beat Burt" Contest picks.

While there were a few "upsets," the home team took 10 of the 15 games, the most in two months. That's old school football.

I had nine correct picks out of 15.

All of the Week 16 winners were within in one point of the Patriots odd point total of 19. And the second tiebreaker -- correct selections -- was needed to figure out the 10 winners this week.

The Week 17 contest is already up on-line and is annually our busiest week.

The Patriots again will be an interesting follow in the final week against the "red-hot" N.Y. Jets, winners of two straight.

To be honest, I'm leaning Jets. But stay tuned.

Week 16 winners

Jack Maxner of Beverly

Dan Dorman of Lynnfield

James Ritchie of Salisbury

Bridgette O'Neill of Beverly

Kevin O'Malley of Gloucester

Tom Mackie of Amesbury

Edward Watson of Groveland

Steve Libby of Beverly

Judith Grondin of Salem

Joe Aiello of Manchester

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