Perspective is a fun concept.
Not too long ago (read: 2010), there was a frustrated fan base who had just endured a ninth straight NFL season that ended without a postseason appearance. The fan base felt that this lack of success had overstayed its welcome and their beloved franchise was lagging behind. Fast-forward two years and opinions have changed.
After Sunday's division-clinching 29-17 Houston Texans victory, I wanted to compare the brief run of success with the other franchises. However, I could not find a place where this information was compiled into one handy chart or table, so I gathered the information myself.
What follows is the list of 32 franchises with all-time division championships and, in parenthesis, division championships since 2002, when your Texans were born and forced the best division realignment in professional sports. Obviously, I have included clinched divisions from this season to date. Let's see if we can put things into perspective.
|AFC East||AFC North||AFC South||AFC West|
|Buffalo - 10 (0)||Baltimore - 3 (3)||Houston - 2||Denver - 12 (3)|
|Miami - 13 (1)||Cincinnati - 7 (2)||Indianapolis - 14 (7)||Kansas City - 8 (2)|
|New England - 15 (9)||Cleveland - 13 (0)||Jacksonville - 2 (0)||Oakland - 15 (1)|
|N.Y. Jets - 4 (1)||Pittsburgh - 20 (5)||Tennesee - 9 (2)||San Diego - 15 (5)|
|NFC East||NFC North||NFC South||NFC West|
|Dallas - 21 (2)||Chicago - 18 (3)||Atlanta - 5 (3)||Arizona - 6 (2)|
|N.Y. Giants - 16 (3)||Detroit - 4 (0)||Carolina - 3 (2)||St. Louis - 15 (1)|
|Philadelphia - 11 (5)||Green Bay - 14 (6)||New Orleans - 5 (3)||San Francisco - 18 (2)|
|Washington - 12 (0)||Minnesota - 18 (2)||Tampa Bay - 6 (3)||Seattle - 7 (5)|
Your Houston Texans, with seven fewer seasons, have tied Jacksonville for the fewest division championships in NFL history. They now are also nipping at the heels of four other franchises and could realistically catch and surpass them within the next few seasons.
Since their inception, the Texans have as many or more division titles than 17 other teams. It is also interesting to see how a good decade can change the perceptions of a franchise (see: New England, Philadelphia, and Indianapolis). Also, color me a bit surprised that Minnesota, St. Louis, and San Diego have more division championships than the storied Green Bay Packers.
Early struggles aside, the Texans definitely seem to be on the right track to catch other franchises in the division championship race. Slowly, this success is making those early years distant memories.
Colts vs Texans coverage | Colts vs Texans boxscore