It's amazing how little things change with the Bills over the years. I was doing some research on Mike Mularkey and came across my column from locker cleanout day after the 2005 season -- Mularkey's last in Buffalo.
Here's a quote from London Fletcher, who advised against major changes and said the Bills' record (5-11) could easily have been 10-6 or 11-5 if a few plays had been different: "You don't blow up a team because of a couple of plays here or there," Fletcher said.
I'm sure we'll hear similarly lame rationalizations after this season. We're accustomed to hearing defensive players say that if you took away the two or three long runs, they actually had a pretty good day.
Here are some chilling stats from the '05 season: The Bills were last in the NFL in third-down defense and 31st against the run. Currently, they are (drum roll) last in third-down defense and 31st against the run.
They were 30th in red-zone offense that year. They've dropped to 25th this year, as Mark Gaughan chronicles in Friday's News. They were outscored by 96 points on the season -- 93 in second halves. They've been outscored by 76 points this season -- 72 in second halves and overtime.
Mularkey walked away from the third year of his contract when Ralph Wilson fired half his staff and hired Marv Levy to look over his shoulder. You have to wonder: Is Wilson lucid enough to make the sort of bold moves he did seven years after a season that was so strikingly similar to this one?