Buccaneers vs. Patriots: Greg Schiano's aggression is a step in the right direction

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Schiano made a few aggressive decisions in the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots.

The past two weeks, we've blasted Greg Schiano for not being aggressive enough. He lost two games on last-second field goals in large part because he wasn't aggressive enough. That was a common failing last year, too. So it was good to see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach take a few more chances against the New England Patriots.

The aggression started early in the game, as the Buccaneers went for it on fourth down with five yards to go from the New England 34. They didn't make it, although Mike Williams should have gotten a flag for holding. In that position, just inside of field goal range a punt is useless and a 52-yard field goal would have been iffy at best for Rian Lindell -- which made the decision to go for it fairly easy.

Later in the second quarter, the Buccaneers faced third-and-one from the New England 38-yard line. They decided to call a deep shot and almost connected it, but Vincent Jackson couldn't bring in a perfectly thrown ball. Undeterred, the Buccaneers went for it on fourth down -- but Doug Martin was stuffed short of the goal line.

Finally, with the game on the line, the Buccaneers decided to go for it on fourth-and-13 from the New England 34. They could have probably used third down to set up an easier fourth down, but instead went for the stick throw on both plays. Once again that play was nearly completed, but Kevin Ogletree couldn't catch a well-place throw off the rollout.

The results were the same: the Buccaneers lost. But the process improved, as the Bucs dared take a few chances to take the game into their hands. Eventually, being a little more aggressive will get them a few more wins.

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