Glauber's NFL Hot Reads

Newsday's Bob Glauber goes the extra yard for the inside scoop on the NFL.

Kansas City Chiefs defense fading fast

Defensive end Tamba Hali of the Kansas City

(Credit: Getty Images)

The Chiefs started off 9-0 to erase the bitter memories of last year's 2-14 nightmare, but the losing has returned in recent weeks. Kansas City has lost three straight, although two of those were to AFC West powerhouse Denver.

Even so, the Chiefs' defensive slump is legitimately worrisome. After starting off in dominant fashion, the defense has tailed off markedly in recent weeks. That's partly...

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Play-action Peyton

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning throws against the

(Credit: AP)

The Broncos hope their running game is in top form against the Chiefs in Sunday's AFC West matchup in Denver. With Peyton Manning still nursing an ankle sprain, the best way to keep defenders off him in the passing game is with a successful running game. Here’s why: When the Broncos run well, it opens up Manning’s play-action passing game. Last week against the Chargers Manning was 9-of-9 for 187...

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NFL: A league of hope

Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid directs his

(Credit: AP)

Unpredictability is one of the hallmarks of the NFL, and 2013 is living up to that reputation. Halfway through the season, all but one division has at least one team that's either in first place or tied for first that didn't win the division in 2012. The only exception, of course, is the AFC East, a division that is owned by the Patriots.

Three of the teams at the top of their respective divisions...

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Our NFL mid-season award winners

Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos. (Getty)

(Credit: Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos. (Getty))

Halfway through an NFL season filled with the usual dose of surprises, disappointments, and assorted other highs and lows, we offer up our mid-season award winners:

MVP: Peyton Manning, QB, Broncos. Amazingly, at age 37 and not far removed from FOUR neck surgeries, Manning is on pace to shatter single-season records for touchdown passes and passing yardage.

Offensive player: Manning....

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Alex Smith's excellent adventure

Kansas City Chiefs Alex Smith scrambles in the

(Credit: Getty)

Alex Smith may not be the most prolific quarterback in today's NFL, but it's hard to argue with what he's doing so far with the Chiefs.

That a team coming off a 2-14 season is the only remaining unbeaten is due in large part to the efficient Smith, who has become the first quarterback in NFL history to reach an 8-0 record with a new team.

Plus, Smith's 27-5-1 record since 2011 is tied...

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Parity rules for Bears, Chiefs, Dolphins, Saints

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill holds up his

(Credit: AP)

Another reason the NFL is the best league going: Because the league is so evenly balanced, there's always a chance to have a meaningful season, even after a losing effort. The latest example: Of the seven teams that currently stand at 3-0, four of them - the Bears, Chiefs, Dolphins and Saints - didn't make the playoff last year.

And since the NFL went to the current 12-team playoff format...

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Alex Smith's change of scenery a blessing

Kansas City Chiefs Alex Smith scrambles in the

(Credit: Getty)

As he watched from the sideline, an admittedly painful experience after losing his starting job because of an injury, Alex Smith believed things would eventually work out. He just didn’t know where.

“I had no idea where my opportunity would be, where it would come. No idea,” he said. “I guess I did have faith that it was going to come at some point, that I was going to get another opportunity....

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Kansas City Chiefs' makeover pays dividends

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 19: Head coach Andy

(Credit: Getty Rich Schultz)

It isn’t often a 2-14 team makes the playoffs the following season, but it sure looks like the Kansas City Chiefs are headed in that direction.

Thanks to the arrival of new head coach Andy Reid and new quarterback Alex Smith, as well as a reinvigorated defense using mostly the same players that were there last year, the Chiefs are 3-0 and the surprise team of the season so far.

Then...

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