Playoffs in Brazil sprinkled with landmines

The Brazilian Football League has wound up its regular season and head into the round of 16 playoffs this weekend.

A check of the playoff bracket reveals some interesting matchups

The four #1 seeds in Brazil, the Joao Pessoa Espectros, Sada Cruzeiro, Cuiaba Arsenal and Timbo Rex all finished with unbeaten records and at least three are heavily favored in the opening round. The other game could surprise if the host team relaxes.

The 6-0 Espectros will face the Salvador Vitoria Cavalaria (4-2) from their own division, the Northeast Division South. They defeated the Cavalaria during the regular season 30-6 and should move on to the next round without a problem.

Espectros RB Everton Antero scoring against Recife Mariners Photo: Anderson Silva / Joao Pessoa Espectros

Sada Cruzeiro dominated their Southeast Division West conference scoring 216 points  in five games (43.2 points/game) while allowing only seven. Their opponents, the Botafogo Reptiles backed into the playoffs with a 4-2 record after losing their final regular season game to the Vila Velha Tritoes and will be in tough. Expect Cruzeiro to advance.

Sada Cruzeiro RB Clinton Greenaway

Cuiaba Arsenal is also facing a team from their own division, the Central Division West, the Sinop Coyotes and defeated them in the regular season 34-16. The Coyotes enter the playoffs with only a single win and will not earn another one. Arsenal will play again.

Cuiaba Arsenal Photo: Junior Martins

The matchup between the Timbo Rex who finished with a 6-0 record in the South conference and the Coritiba Crocodiles may be the most intriguing of these four. The Crocodiles were 3-3 in the same division but only lost to the Rex 22-12 in the final regular season game of the year. This one could be close.

Timbo Rex Photo: Overtime do F.A Geraldo Takanage

The #2 seeds will face the #3 seeds in the other four games.

The Ceara Cacadores finished first in the Northeast Division North with a 5-1 record while the Recife Mariners were second place finishers in the Northeast Divison South with a 4-2 record. Both teams lost to the Espectros during the regular season by similar scores so this one is a toss up.

In what is expected to be another close matchup, the #2 seed Vila Velha Tritoes will take on the Patriotas FA who are the #3 seed, in a game in which the Tritoes are actually slight underdogs. The Patriotas beat Vila Velha in the first game of the year by a touchdown, 24-18. This one could go either way.

The Tubaroes Do Gerrado will be heavy favorites in their game against the Goiania Rednecks as they handled them easily, 29-0, in the only regular season encounter between the two.

Finally, the Santa Maria Soldiers will be in tough in their playoff date with the Parana HP. Both teams play in the South conference and during the regular season the Soldiers barely got by the Parana HP, 3-0.




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