Yesterday I was watching a couple of episodes of The West Wing's first season, and since I wanted to finish the story arc where Leo McGarry's status as a recovering addict was going public, I took a pass on the first quarter of the football "contest" in which the San Diego Chargers hosted a bunch of guys putatively from Buffalo, who called themselves the "Bills".
After I finished the episode I was watching, I flipped over to the game for the second quarter and found the Bills down 21-3. Minutes later, it was 28-3. Minutes after that, the Bills managed to find the end zone and start their historic comeback, making it 28-10. And then it turned out that the Chargers hadn't read the script, so they scored again to make it 35-10.
At that point I allowed The Daughter to watch a movie while I took a shower. I didn't watch a single play of the game after that, so I didn't see it end up 48-10. Therefore, I don't have much to say about this game specifically -- for that, go here, as this post seems to agree with everything I read in the paper, heard on the radio, and heard from coworkers at The Store -- but I do think that it's clear that the Bills are done, in this incarnation.
Tom Donahoe has had five years at the helm of this team, and the Bills have failed to make the playoffs each time and only produced one winning season. Enough is enough. Donahoe has failed. It's time for him to go.
Likewise, it's time for most of the coaching staff to go. Jim McNally and the special teams guy can stay, but everyone else is producing crappy results.
The personnel people stink. Other teams are finding diamond-in-the-rough offensive linemen in the draft, while the guys the Bills keep picking in the lower rounds evidently couldn't block Dick Butkus at this stage of his career.
Players? I'm for keeping the following: J.P. Losman, Kelly Holcomb (you need a good backup), Willis McGahee, Jason Peters, Lee Evans, Roscoe Parrish, Eric Moulds (maybe), Terrence McGee, Takeo Spikes, Angelo Crowell, Jabari Greer, and...that's about it. Lawyer Milloy? Gone. Troy Vincent? Gone. Sam Adams? Gone. Bennie Anderson? Gone. Josh Reed? Gone. Mark Campbell? Gone. London Fletcher? Gone. Jeff Posey? Gone. And so on.
The defense is aging and the offensive line is a complete wreck. Even if the Bills manage to stitch together an 8-8 season, this bunch of players is never going to get any better than this. We've seen the best this group can do, and it was last year's 9-7, playoff near-miss. Time to rebuild. There's a decent nucleus of young offensive talent here; otherwise, the Bills need to start rebuilding the D and the O-line as soon as the season ends.
But what scares me is that they'll try rebuilding with the same bunch of people who were in charge of the last rebuilding process -- the one that yielded one winning season in five years. Oy. It seems well within the realm of possibility that the Lions and Browns will be respectable before the Bills are again.
(Odd stat: in going 3-0 against the AFC East, the Chargers have outscored the Bills, Jets and Stupid Patriots by a 120-53 margin. In going 3-4 against everyone else they've played, the Chargers have only outscored their opponents by a 180-149 margin. Therefore, the average score when the Chargers play an AFC East team is Chargers 40, AFC East 18; the average score when the Chargers play anyone else is Chargers 26, Opponent 21. What does this mean? Absolutely nothing, of course.)