4 most underappreciated players in Bengals history
The Cincinnati Bengals have many great players that have gone underappreciated both due to the overall team’s success and the personalities they held on and off the field. This list dives into four players that did great things for the team but goes mostly under the radar even with seasons of outstanding numbers.
Stats provided by NFL.com and Pro Football Reference.
4. Rudi Johnson
Rudi Johnson played seven years in Cincinnati and posted excellent numbers in three of his seven seasons. When he was first drafted he didn’t post decent numbers until his third year when he was granted the starting job in the backfield.
Although Johnson only earned one Pro Bowl selection during his time with the Bengals, his value to fans remains very underappreciated due to the poor reputation of the team at the time. He posted over 1,200 yards three times while on the Bengals roster and had over nine or more touchdowns four times within this span.
During his best year in which he was selected to the Pro Bowl, Johnson had a 4.5-yard per carry average with 1,454 yards and 12 touchdowns. To fans, it was nothing special due to the poor record that the Bengals had but looking back now you can see how effective he was during those four years as the tailback for the team.
Johnson was much better than many people remember putting up All-Pro-like numbers in three straight seasons. It is saddening to many fans that Johnson burned himself out so fast after this stretch as he only played two more seasons and posted very below-average numbers before retiring at the age of 30.
He had no supporting cast in terms of a No. 2 running back so he had to carry almost all of the workload causing a quick deterioration of the phenomenal skills he once held. Bengals fans should have nothing but appreciation for the work that Johnson put in as he gave it his all every down until his body couldn’t do it anymore.