Here's the thing about my friend Bernie – the dude is totally and completely unpredictable.
It's for that reason that one time when we were hanging out and the seminole “Men In Black” by Double You Eye Elle Elle Smith (that's Will Smith, guys) from the movie of the same name came on and he lost his mind… I didn't blink an eye.
The thing about the MIB title track is that it has the sickest intro of all time. Don't believe me? Give it a whirl.
The other thing about the MIB song is that at one point Will Smith breaks into a full-out dance routine with an alien. I miss the 90s.
So back to my buddy Bernie. One day he tells me, “Let's learn the dance! We can break into it and it'll be ill!” (Sidebar: I fully support the usage of the word ill in a positive context. I also support “Sidebars”, we should use them more often!). So what do I do? You know me, Inside The Star fam. I learned it. I still know it today. Don't challenge me on this. You'll lose. Just like those pesky aliens in Men In Black 1, 2, and 3 (it's pretty amazing what's allowed to be a trilogy these days).
It doesn't take a hypnotizer or a neuralizer to turn my vivid memories to fantasies, though. All it takes is Price Per Yard.
I debuted my methodology behind this metric with the 2013 Price Per Yard Analysis. I followed suit (the Men In Black wear suits, this whole things is tied together I tell ya!) with the 2014 Price Per Yard Analysis which proved that the Dallas Cowboys are financial wizards.
Jay, Will Smith's MIB character, protected Earth from aliens. RJ (that's me!) is serving this world up with running back financial cookies and I've got a fresh batch for you today. Welcome to the 2015 Price Per Yard Analysis.
How's that for the sickest intro of all time?
2015 NFC Price Per Yard
**Click the image to zoom in.
It's important to remember before we begin that the St. Louis (now Los Angeles) Rams don't have any data available to collect. They don't want to play with us and that's just fine. WE DON'T NEED THEM ANYWAY!
It doesn't take a genius to see that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the dominant team at Price Per Yard in the National Football Conference last season. The repetitive theme surrounding PPY is that if you can get elite production from a rookie or veteran on a cheap deal then you're going to be in business – good business.
Tampa Bay rode the Muscle Hamster (I will never understand why Doug Martin hates that nickname, it's awesome!) and Co. to a league-leading 1,949 yards in 2015 (For a refresher on the yardage calculation please visit the Price Per Yard Introduction).
The only team that paid less per yard than the Bucs in the NFC, and actually the entire NFL, was the Atlanta Falcons; however, the little Doug that could and his fellow RBs outgained their division rivals by more than 400 yards. Charles Sims and his low cap number are the icing on top of the Doug cake here.
Arizona saw a re-emergence from Chris Johnson in 2015, and we all saw it on Amazon Video's All or Nothing (which you can hear all about during my interview with Director Shannon Furman on the RJOShow). His veteran deal, and David Johnson's rookie one, helped make the 1,884 yards that they tallied look brilliant from a Price Per Yard perspective. Also just throwing this out there… doesn't Bruce Arians kind of remind you of Tommy Lee Jones' Kay from MIB? Yes? No? Oh well.
Last year's version of the Minnesota Vikings, having Adrian Peterson at their disposal for every game, encompassed what basic business is (ideally) all about – you get what you pay for. The Vikes paid more than anyone in the conference per yard, but they came in third in total yardage collected. I watched The Big Short on Netflix a few weeks ago so I'm basically a business expert now, and I can explain exactly what the Vikings are doing pretty simply.
Minnesota wants to run the ball well. They pay guys to do that. The guys do that. Hooray.
2015 AFC Price Per Yard
Philly really did whip out a neuralizer on their coaching staff when they fired Chip Kelly and removed any and all things that he ever touched as an additional precaution… more like a sterilizer than a nerualizer, to be honest.
The Bills took their new toy and ran with it – literally. Buffalo led the AFC in rushing and did so at an insane bargain price. Shady McCoy and his many talents are well compensated, but we saw Buffalo prove a Price Per Yard rule of thumb to be totally true – have a good rookie. Karlos Williams, although now suspended for four games, helped the cause while doing so at a great rate.
Last season's Tennessee Titans are sort of the opposite of the Vikings. They didn't invest a ton financially in the run game and as a result didn't get a good one.
It's honestly pretty hard to be as bad at this as the 2015 Jaguars were. Hey, at least they're good at something! Jacksonville dropped a bigger chunk of change in the run game than most teams and produced a sub-par product. Hey Will Smith, how do you say “This was atrocious” in cool alien jargon?
2015 Price Per Yard: Applying The Base Value
The Base Value (BV) helps bring light to exactly how good these teams are at Price Per Yard relative to the Top 10 rushing teams in the NFL. (For a refresher on the Base Value calculation please visit the Price Per Yard Introduction).
The light shed here indicates that the Buccaneers, Cardinals, Bills, and Broncos all had great returns on their investments. They didn't pay a lot relative to the Top 10 teams, but they still had serious success in the yardage department. Bravo!
Price Per Yard: The 2015 Dallas Cowboys
I've evaluated three full seasons of teams and their respective Price Per Yard calculations. I believe that the 2014 Dallas Cowboys were one of the best to ever do this, or anything similar, in the history of professional football.
Any time you do something absolutely incredible, it's hard to top it immediately afterward. That lesson rang true for last season's version of America's Team.
Saying that the Dallas Cowboys have the best Offensive Line in the game is both a luxury for us and a cold, hard fact. Even though that elite production is coming off of a minimal investment, it still wasn't enough to carry last year's stable of running backs to another historic Price Per Yard performance.
The 2015 Cowboys indicated, via their financial investments, that they didn't need a high-quality running back to yield great results in terms of yardage. They were unequivocally right in that regard, I'm not disputing that.
Unfortunately, relative to the Base Value, the Cowboys didn't yield enough of a great result to totally justify their low-level investment. They paid 7.11% less than the BV in the run game, which is cool, but in turn yielded 30.20% less yardage than the BV. We saw this team just a season before have one of the greatest returns on investment in NFL History, and remember that in the world of business you ideally get what you pay for.
The Cowboys responded by paying for Zeke.
The 2015 season may be the last one with data calculation that we have at our disposal, but the Price Per Yard series lives on!
Next Monday (July 25th) I'll be debuting a Price Per Yard summation for seasons 2013, 2014, and 2015 combined. Three seasons is a strong enough sample size for us to be able to see trends that teams are taking. I'll have all of that broken down for you here at Inside The Star.
Additionally on August 1st I'll be putting out a projection regarding Price Per Yard for the 2016 season and including yardage markers that each team will have to hit in order for them to get a legitimate return on the investments that they're making this season.
If you have any comments or questions about Price Per Yard, the philosophy behind it, the formula that went into it, or just simply want to talk and/or debate it… you can comment below, email me at RJ@RJOchoaShow.com, or Tweet to me at @rjochoa.