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As Rudi Johnson runs...

A simple lesson in football 101; the more your feature running back carries the ball, the more likely you'll win. This is very telling because a majority of the carries by a running back on a winning team occur towards the end of the game.

The magic number for the Bengals is: 20.
Rudi Johnson carried the ball 20 times or more in nine games. In each of those games, the Bengals won. Johnson scored 12 touchdowns; only 2 were in games the Bengals lost (both at Indy). In games Rudi carried the ball 19 times or less, the record dramatically downgrades (2-5). As Rudi Johnson goes, so does the Bengals offense.

In 2004, it was a slightly different story. The Bengals went 6-5 in games Johnson carried 20 times or more. In games Johnson carried 25 times, Cincinnati went undefeated (4-0).

Since last season, Johnson has lost weight and gained mass. He's undergone knee surgery that made last season miserable for him. Along with Lewis claiming the offense will be more "grounded", this team will go as Rudi goes, again.

Therefore, I'm going on record. My pre-season pick for the Bengals offensive MVP will be Rudi Johnson.