PREVIEW: Brazil’s Superliga Quarterfinals – #1 Timbo T-Rex v. #2 Curitiba Crocodiles

TIMBO, BRAZIL – This Sunday, November 13 at 3PM local time the Confederação Brasileira de Futebol Americano (CBFA) Superliga quarterfinals features a playoff matchup at Complexo Esportivo Timbo home of the Timbo Rex in Santa Catarina, Brazil.

In the first matchup this season: Timbo handed the Crocodiles one of the worst losses in team history, with a final score of 25-6, but the Rex lost their first and second string quarterbacks, Luis Bassani and Drew Hill.

What you need to know: There is talk of a sellout crowd in the tiny but American football-crazed city of Timbo, Santa Catarina, and this matchup is worthy of that. Sunday’s Southern Conference finals will see two aggressive defenses match up against speed, talented offenses. As good as the D is on both of these teams, it might finally be time for both teams attack’s to put some big time points on the board – during the regular season, both of these squads saw more rain than Jim Cantore, and it inhibited their ability to rep out their full playbooks, but Southern Brazil’s rainy season is over, likely meaning a dry field on Sunday.

Timbo was considered by many as a favorite to win Superliga in 2016, but a Murphy’s Law-type of game, they lost not only starting quarterback, Luis Bassani (collarbone injury), but backup Drew Hill (broken arm). In their first round playoff win against the White Sharks-Istepos, standout receiver, Ivan Tonolli, filled in valiantly. No word has come out of Timbo regarding who will take snaps Sunday, but, if Bassani isn’t healthy, there is a chance that, in a move straight out of a Hollywood script, none other than T-Rex Head Coach, Amadeo Salvador, a former quarterback, could be called in to action.

If Timbo wins: Bassani is likely taking snaps and the zone and RPO timing that makes Timbo’s offense so lethal is clicking; Burner, Well Garcia and his backfield mate, Clair Jose Simão Junior, break off some big runs; Caio Perreira and Luis Polastri lead a turnover-minded Dino Defense that contains elusive Crocodile quarterback, Drew Banks, and bogarts a couple of turnovers.

If the Crocodiles win: Drew Banks gets busy connecting with Rodrigo Colete and Adan Rodrigues in the passing game and the Crocodile’s massive OL bashes open holes for Curitibas deep and talented backfield. Croco ends, Delmer Zoeschke and Guilherme Bida bring pressure off the edge and put Timbo in 2nd and 3rd and long, setting up opportunities for DBs Cleverson Freitas, Gino Santoro, Jhonie Batista and Henrique Rocha to get their mits on some Rex passes.

This guy played against both teams in 2016, here’s what he thinks:

Parana HP DB, Anderson Kvas

Parana HP DB, Anderson Kvas

”My guess is that its the time for the T-rex. Home field advantage will be a factor, as T-rex fans are some of the most fanatical in Brazil. The rex also have a very physical team, the most physical I have ever faced. Addition ally, they have a really versatile and difficult to predict offense, and a solid and consistent defense.” -Anderson Kvas, DB, Parana HP

AFI asked some of Brazil’s top American football bloggers to pick the first round. See their thoughts on this game below:

overtimefalgoGeraldo Takanage – Overtime do F.A.

CrocodilesThis will be a very balanced game, because both teams have very good defenses. The absence of Drew Hill and the possibility of Bassani not being fully recovered, can be a weakness for the T-Rex, and they will need to rely on big runs from great players like Clair Jose, Well Garcia and Keith Smith II. If the Crocodile defense can secure those players, quarterback, Drew Banks, can give Curitiba the advantage it needs for a close win.”

riffellogopicHenrique Riffel – Futebol Americano Brasil

CrocodilesFor me, this is the most balanced game of the conference finals. All units for both teams play at a high level and are strong. The only difference is if quarterback Luiz Carlos Bassani will play for Timbó Rex. If Bassani is out, Drew Banks is better technically than Ivan Tonolli.”

romuladofinalVictor Romulado Francisco – Salão Oval

”T-RexHow healthy is Bassani? If he is ready for the game, Rex have a great chance to win again vs Crocodiles. If he can’t finish the game, then we will have a real thriller in Timbó.”

haim-finalHaim Ferreira – Blog Touchdown

”T-RexThe most balanced team in Brazil in all facets of the game (offense, defense and special teams), the Rex should have no difficulties beating the Crocodiles. The Curitibanos have not demonstrated as much efficiency as the team from Santa Catarina. Playing in Timbó is not easy and the possible return of Bassani should give even more boost to the dinosaurs.

ygormartinghcbrsilYgor Martins – Head Coach Brasil

”T-RexThe young Rex QB, Luis Bassani, is growing up each week and the Rex offense is playing very well. The Rex D is one of the most underrated units in the country. They are nasty. Croco also has a nasty D, but their offense looks inconsistent unit right now. You can’t be like that facing the tough Rex D. This is the reason I see Rex getting the ”W” here.”

Clayton Lovett has served football in Brasil in a variety of roles, including as the member of the coaching staff of two CBFA national champions (Cuiaba Arsenal 2010, 2012). Football is his hobby. Professionally, he is the founder of CS Educacional,