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NFL Parity

Here's a statistic that might provide some hope for Bills fans -- or leave them thoroughly depressed, depending on your point of view:

Since the Bills last appeared in the NFL playoffs, there have been 57 instances of teams making the postseason after missing the previous season. That means more than half of the 108 playoff spots in a nine-year stretch were occupied by teams that had missed the season before.

Last year, seven of the 12 playoff teams were differerent from the year before. That included the Dolphins, who went from one win to 11; Atlanta, which improved by seven games; and Baltimore, which went up by six. So clearly, there's a lot of playoff turnover from year to year, and teams can bounce back from poor seasons in a hurry. In light of the evidence, it's even more amazing that the Bills haven't made it nine years in a row.

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