Banged Up Secondary Will Hurt Buccaneers vs Bears


Week two is here and the Buccaneers defense is looking a little thin. Unfortunately, the injuries to Carlton Davis and possibly Christian Izien may cripple a chance at a second win in a row to start the season.


Davis was a key contributor in week one adding six tackles, four solo, and a pass deflection to his stat line. Now, after not practicing all week he’s been ruled out. Assuming Izienwho is listed as questionable can’t start, behind him sit two relatively inexperienced players. Zyon McCollum and Dee Delaney.

Option 1: McCollum

McCollum was a liability in limited play last season. Targeted 27 times he allowed 17 receptions for an 81% completion percentage. These numbers included 228 yards for an average of 13.4 yards a catch. Additionally, couple that with a touchdown and the opposing quarterbacks would have had an NFL passer rating of 127.8. Moreover, adding insult to injury his missed tackle percentage was north of 30%. Not a good sign.

Option 2: Delaney

Delaney, who didn’t play Sunday may be a better option but was shuffled behind McCollum in week one. Last season Delaney performed close to McCollum’s output. With 15 targets he allowed 14 receptions (93.3% completion percentage) for a passer rating of 111.1. This is due in part to his allowing of 5.7 yards a catch and a touchdown. This could have something to do with limited snaps. Case in point in 2021 with more snaps he only allowed 70.8% completions and a passer rating of 93.2. Still not a great option.

Fingers Crossed

The Buccaneers are hoping that Izien will be able to suit up on Sunday. Subsequently, he’s emerged after week one as an up and coming player with great potential. After a pass deflection and interception fans started to notice why the Buccaneers added the undrafted free agent and named him the starting nickel corner. Hopefully he’ll suit up.

Final Thought

There is an glimmer of hope the secondary doesn’t get abused this week. Justin Fields and the Bears offense. It seems as though the third year quarterback is making no progress on improving. In week one he looked bad earning a PFF passing grade of 49.4. Add in an average depth of target of only 3.8 yards and the secondary may squeak by.

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