Despite the plaudits, McVay’s end-of-game strategy needs work

Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay is the flavor of the year in the NFL.

The second-year coach has the Rams unbeaten at the midway point of his second season after they went 4-12 in 2016 and Jeff Fisher was fired with three games left.

McVay revitalized the offense in his 2017 debut, turned the team around and they went 11-5 before losing a first-round playoff game to Atlanta.

This year they are the league’s only unbeaten team at the halfway point at 8-0 with two big games coming up against the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs sandwiched around a division game against Seattle.

McVay is the prototype of the bright young innovative offensive coach that teams are looking for in this era. And he has a knack of remembering every play in every game.

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Will the Buccaneers ever find a franchise quarterback?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting playing in 1976 and have been in a futile search for a franchise quarterback ever since.

They made Doug Williams and Vinny Testaverde the first pick in their respective drafts, and neither won a Super Bowl for them. Williams left in a contract dispute and won a Super Bowl in Washington.

They got rid of Steve Young to make room for Testaverde, and Young won a Super Bowl in San Francisco.

They drafted Trent Dilfer in the first round and got rid of him, and he won a Super Bowl in Baltimore although the defense carried him and he was dumped at the end of the year.

So the Bucs have had three quarterbacks who won Super Bowls after they’ve left.

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Peterson’s long TD run put him in select company

Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson is now one degree of separation from Jim Thorpe and two from Pop Warner and Dwight Eisenhower.

When Peterson ran 64 yards for a touchdown Sunday against the New York Giants at age 33, he became the second-oldest player to run for a touchdown of 60 or more yards.

The last time a player at that age did that was in 1921, when Thorpe – yes, that Jim Thorpe – ran for an 80-yard touchdown at age 34 for the Cleveland Indians against the Columbus Panhandles.

He played for Warner – yes that Pop Warner – at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, Pa., and is in the College Football Hall of Fame.

Carlisle beat an Army team 27-6 in 1912 that had a cadet named Dwight Eisenhower, who said in 1961 when he was president of Thorpe, “He never practiced in his life, and he could do anything better than any other football player I ever saw.’’

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A quick look back at NFL Week 8

Looking back on Week 8 in the NFL:

The Los Angeles Rams played what amounted to a road game at home as the Green BaY Packers fans at the Los Angeles Coliseum made it seem like a Packers home game. But the Rams showed they don’t need a home field edge as they edged the Packers, 29-27, to finish the first half of the season with a perfect 8-0 mark. The Rams find out in the next three weeks if they have a serious shot at 16-0 when they go to New Orleans and play the Kansas City Chiefs in Mexico City sandwiched around a game against Seattle. The Rams needed the help of a bonehead decision by Ty Montgomery to ice the game. He took the kickoff out of the end zone after the Rams took a two-point lead. He fumbled, the Rams recovered and Aaron Rodgers didn’t get a chance to drive the team for a game-winning field goal. The Packers then traded Montgomery to the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday.

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Five quick takes on NFL Week 8

Looking ahead to Week 8 in the NFL:

1. The Los Angeles Rams, the NFL’s only unbeaten team, can reach the halfway mark with a perfect 8-0 mark Sunday when they host the Green Bay Packers, who are struggling at 3-2-1 but are always dangerous when Aaron Rodgers is pulling the trigger. This is the start of a four game stretch that will show how good the Rams are. They play at New Orleans next week followed by a home game against Seattle and a game in Mexico City against the Chiefs before their bye.

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