It wasn’t as smooth as normal this year, but with the Chargers inexplicably (but hilariously) losing to the Texans and the Chiefs destroying the Steelers, they have clinched the AFC West division crown yet again. We’ve finally gotten to the point where division titles are mostly meaningless, and it’s only the big prize that matters, but it’s important to recognize just how big of an accomplishment 6 straight division titles is.
Most consecutive division titles:
— Jeff Kerr (@JeffKerrCBS) December 27, 2021
As you can see above, the Chiefs are only the 5th team in NFL history to win the division 6 seasons in a row. The Patriots have the record with 11 (of course, the bastards), and the 70s Rams shockingly come in 2nd with 7 (they probably don’t get enough love for how good they were, as they went to the conference championship game 5 times during that run). Then the 70s Vikings (who infamously lost 3 Super Bowls in 4 years during that time) and the 70s Steelers (who won 4 Super Bowls) join the Chiefs with 6.
Apparently, the 70s were a decade of one team dominating divisions.
Anyway, that list should give you an idea of just how difficult it is. The Patriots were the first team to do it since the 70s! Neither the Montana 49ers nor the Manning Colts, both teams who dominated for long stretches, were able to put together a streak of 6 straight.
And unlike the Patriots, who had the benefit of mostly easy division opponents every year, the Chiefs have had to fend off some very good teams. Twice, the Chiefs had to fend off 12-4 teams to win the division (something the Patriots have never done).
So don’t take this for granted. If you’re a younger fan and don’t remember the bad times, or for older fans who have bad memories, remember that for fans like myself just winning the division used to be a huge deal. I remember being so excited to win the division in 2010, and I proudly wore an old 2003 division championship shirt for years.
Before Andy Reid, we had won the division 6 times in total since the merger. Now we’ve won it 6 times in a row.