When Marvin Lewis and Bob Bratkowski hinted towards a run oriented offense -- remember the word, "grounded"? -- it was an expectation we all saw coming. Rudi had lost weight and gained mass. Rudi would take the offensive pressure off Carson Palmer who was (1) recovering and (2) projected to see a lot of defensive blitzing schemes.
But has the offense become more grounded? Through the first four games, Johnson has rushed 87 times. Last season, through the first four games, Rudi rushed 92 times. Chris Perry, last season, contributed 14 rushes.
Now if you project his numbers this season, he'll rush 348 times for 1,412 yards. He'll out-carry his 2005 attempts by 11 attempts but fall 46 yards short from last season (1,458). He is on pace to score 16 rushing touchdowns.
Let's review some more numbers:
- Compared to the league, Rudi is 4th in rushing and tied for first with four rushing touchdowns.
- Rudi has converted two of three third down and ones.
- The Bengals have called Rudi's number twice inside the three yard line. He's scored a touchdown on both attempts.
- Rudi is tied for fifth with most plays that gains 10 yards or more. Rudi has nine ten-yard rushing plays.
- Tied with Kevin Jones, three of Rudi's four touchdowns have come in the second half (two in the fourth quarter; also NFL leader).
- First 10 carries: Rudi has 169 rushing yards on 40 attempts. From carries 11-20: Rudi has 143 yards on 33 attempts. On 20 carries and more: Rudi has 41 yards on 14 attempts.
- Rudi Johnson finished September with a 3.9 yards per rush average.
- When rushing to the right, Rudi gains 5.0 yards; 3.0 in the middle; 4.4 to the right.
- In the Bengals sole defeat, Rudi averaged 4.6 yards per rush and gained five first downs. Rudi's success against New England should indicate the question marks on why he was abandoned so quickly.