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 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?

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 case going forward until Mac Jones starts lighting up the scoreboard.

Week 1 winners

Christina Crovetti of Amesbury

Michael. Thistle of Peabody

Cedric Lowel of Gloucester

Cheryl Puccio of Wilmington

Linda Sampson of Rowley

Bob Luscinski of Georgetown

Jesse Dorman of Lynnfield

Charles Sforza Jr. of Byfield

Mike Moyles of Newburyport

Margaret Higgins of Peabody

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