The parity of the NFL is so great that every year you see a team that is, for example, 6-10 one year and then makes the jump to 10-6 the following year.
This season's example? The Houston Texans.
Not only did they reverse their fortunes in their defensive game, but in the standings of the AFC South as well.
But you also can see this pattern slide the opposite way. Like I said, the parity is so great in this league that it is hard to consistently stay one of the league's best year in and year out—unless you are built for longevity.
With that said, can they be an actual AFC contender in 2012? Many in the national media were sold on that with the Texans' performance in Baltimore in the divisional series, and I pretty much feel the same way.
I'll explain why right now.