Portuguese season gets underway

The Portuguese League of American Football kicks off its 2020 season Sunday, February 2.

The league has changed its format, dividing six teams into two divisions, the North and South. The North contains the Braga Warriors, Paredes Lumberjacks and Porto Mutts while the Lisboa Devils, Lisboa Navigators, and Cascais Crusaders play in the South.

NORTH DIVISION

Porto Mutts (2019: 6-2, Portuguese Finalists)

The Mutts are perennial challengers for the Portuguese throne and reached the final in both 2019 and 2018. Last year they were knocked off by the Lisboa Devils in an upset and in 2018 they lost 6-0 to the now-defunct Portuscale Dragons.

Paredes Lumberjacks (2019: 2-3-1, 5th place)

Paredes are coming off a couple of disappointing seasons which saw them finish out of playoff contention. They reached the semifinals in 2016 but have struggled since then. They are hoping 2020 will see a change.

Braga Warriors (2019: 1-5, 6th place)

The Warriors finished out of the playoffs for the first time in almost a decade last year, and are aiming to return in 2020. The team reached the Portuguese final in 2014 and played in the semifinal in 2018.

SOUTH DIVISION

Lisboa Devils (2019: 7-1, Portuguese Champions)

The Devils have won three of the last four Portuguese titles including in 2019 when they defeated the Porto Mutts 23-6 in the final. They will be back as one of the favorites this year.

Cascais Crusaders (2019: 5-2, Portuguese Semifinalists)

Cascais was the highest-scoring team in the Portuguese league in 2019 and reached the semifinals where they were barely edged 13-12 by the eventual winners, the Lisboa Devils. They made it to the quarterfinals in 2017 and 2018. The last time they played in the final was 2015 when they lost to the Navigators. Will this be their year?

Lisboa Navigators (2019: 2-3-1, 4th place)

Winners of the Portuguese crown for six straight years from 2010 to 2015 before slipping into a two-year decline, the Navigators could surprise this season. They were knocked out of the semifinals by the Porto Mutts last year and will be looking to improve on that this season.

AFI
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