Skip to main content
Publish date:

Buccaneers Stock Report Following Win Over Bears

Who's up and who's down following the Buccaneers win in Week 7?

Unless you look really closely, it's hard to pluck away many negatives from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' demolition of the Chicago Bears this past Sunday. The Bucs dominated the Bears in almost every facet of the game en route to a 38-3 victory, in which Tom Brady threw the 600th touchdown pass of his career and Tampa Bay forced five takeaways.

The AllBucs weekly stock report reflects that, with four players shooting upwards, one stuck in neutral depending on an injury, and two reserves taking a step back due to the expectations of those players. Let's get to it.

Stock up

Jason Pierre-Paul: Despite nagging injuries which he revealed as non-minor on Sunday, Pierre-Paul was a wrecking ball within Tampa Bay's disruptive defensive performance on Sunday. Pierre-Paul recorded four tackles, a team-leading two sacks, and a forced fumble against Chicago and played a large part in the Bucs starting in good field position offensively. 

The Buccaneers continue to not play Pierre-Paul for the entirety of a game while he recovers, as he earned 39 of a possible 66 snaps on Sunday. He's making the most of his playing time, though, and in fairness, Tampa Bay can afford to ease Pierre-Paul onto the field with rookie Joe Tryon-Shoyinka waiting in the wings.

Jaelon Darden: Darden's first start as the Bucs' lead return man was a success, as he now owns the NFL's longest punt return so far this season of 43 yards. Not long after his first touch, Darden earned some offensive snaps and took an end-around for 11 yards and a first down.

Darden only earned one kickoff opportunity and the return was measly, finishing at the Bucs' 17-yard line. Unless the Bucs face an offense that can keep up, kick returns will be limited for Darden and one would hope his performance in those scenarios will improve as he gains experience. But otherwise, he took advantage of his chances and seemed comfortable in an enlarged role.

Pierre Desir: Desir stepped into a larger role as injuries continue to pile up for Tampa Bay at cornerback and he had a fantastic game, picking off a pass from Justin Fields and not allowing a reception across 15 coverage snaps. The last time Desir was utilized significantly, he gave up three receptions on as many targets for 35 yards on 24 coverage snaps against New England.

Read More

We'll touch more on Tampa Bay's cornerback injuries shortly, but know this: Desir's strong performance against Chicago was much-needed as he could be in line to start in Week 8, dependent upon Dee Delaney's ankle injury.

Ronald Jones II: Jones quietly put together his best performance of an otherwise underwhelming season against the Bears, tallying 63 yards on ten carries and converting three first downs. Jones has fallen behind Leonard Fournette on the running back totem pole after the two split carries down the stretch of the 2020 season, posting 118 yards in his previous six games, making his showing on Sunday an encouraging one.

Stock neutral

Dee Delaney: Delaney earned his first career start at cornerback opposite of Jamel Dean in place of Richard Sherman and he held his own. Delaney caught a first-quarter interception and gave up 58 yards on six receptions against the Bears, per PFF. 

It was certainly a solid starting debut for the fourth-year corner, but it didn't finish the way he could have wanted. Delaney exited the matchup with an ankle injury and his status remains up in the air as head coach Bruce Arians had no updates to share on the wound postgame. Considering the Bucs' long list of injuries at cornerback, Delaney's breakthrough was critical for depth purposes. His recovery will be just as important.

Stock down

Giovani Bernard: Bernard has seen his offensive snaps decrease in three consecutive weeks, from 17 in Week 5 to 12 in Week 6 to 11 on Sunday. Keep in mind, Bernard missed Week 4 with a knee injury after posting a season-high of 33 snaps and nine receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown against Los Angeles in Week 3.

Since his return from injury, Bernard has picked up all of his season-long carries (four for 21 yards) and put together six receptions for 23 yards in that span. While his usage has decreased, Fournette and Jones have stepped up within the offense, with Fournette beginning to thrive in pass-catching situations. After a one-week soar a month ago, Bernard's stock is falling.

Cameron Brate: Brate has yet to put together a performance of note in Rob Gronkowski's absence, accumulating just six catches for 67 yards since Gronkowski was sidelined prior to Week 4. Brate was targeted four times against the Bears and hauled in zero receptions. Although he didn't do much on Sunday, tight end O.J. Howard's stock is greater than Brate's at this point for his 49-yard-and-a-touchdown showing against Philadelphia in Week 6. The Bucs are hopeful Gronkowski will return to action sooner rather than later.

Stay tuned to AllBucs for further coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and other NFL news and analysis. Follow along on social media at @SIBuccaneers on Twitter and Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sports Illustrated on Facebook.