Is Rudi Johnson one of the best running backs in Bengals history?

There's a realistic chance that Rudi Johnson won't play another down for the Bengals. Obviously he, along with DeDe Dorsey, are out Sunday giving Kenny Watson the feature back role with a possible Quincy Wilson sighting. If it's true that Rudi Johnson is done, then I wanted to quickly recap his Cincinnati career.

In three full seasons a transition season (2003 when Rudi became the "man" over Corey Dillon), Johnson assaulted the franchise's record books.

Cat. Record Ranked Notes
Career Rushing 5,742 3rd Passed Pete Johnson this season.
Single-season 1,458 (2005) 1st Also has second best single-rushing season with 1,454 in 2004.
Consecutive Games w/ TD 6 t-2nd Carl Pickens has the record with 10 straight games with a TD.
Career Rush Att. 1,441 2nd Corey Dillon owns the record with 1,865 attempts.
Single-season rush att. 361 (2004) 1st Also owns second most in single-season with 341 in 2006.
Single-game rush att. 43 1st Dillon is second with 39.
Career Rushing TDs 48 2nd Passed Corey Dillon this season. 16 away from Pete Johnson's team record.
Single-season rushing TDs 12 t-4th Three straight seasons Rudi scored 12 rushing touchdowns. Ickey Woods owns the record with 15. Pete Johnson scored 14 times in '79 and '83 and tied with Rudi at 12 in '81.
Most 100-yard rushing games (career) 19 2nd Dillon holds the record with 28.
Most 100-yard rushing games (season) 5 t-1st Done twice in 2006 and 2004. Dillon (three times), Harold Green, James Brooks and Ickey Woods are all tied for the most.

Impressive. What's more impressive is that he's done this under the radar. We know he's there. We know he produced. He still didn't receive much fanfare. In a lot of cases, he was often overlooks while Carson Palmer and Chad Johnson received the most attention.

Career Games (best six games; ironically, all at home)

Date Opponent Att / Rush / TDs
11.28.04 Cleveland 26 - 202 - 2
11.9.03 Houston 43 - 182 - 2
12.14.03 San Francisco 21 - 174 - 2
12.11.05 Cleveland 30 - 169 - 1
11.16.03 Kansas City 22 - 165 - 0
9.17.06 Cleveland 26 - 145 - 2

If Rudi Johnson rebuilds his body to his 2004-2005 form, and stays healthy, I believe there's no reason to wave him goodbye. None. However, we all believe that's very unlikely and this team has been burnt by playing the "if" game. I'll make the bold statement that I'm sure many will disagree with. With the short amount of time that Rudi put up his numbers -- numbers that filtrate many of the franchise's record books -- I believe Rudi is one of the best running backs in Bengals history. And it's a damn shame that he had to go out like this.

Note: When it becomes official, we'll talk more about his career in Cincinnati.

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