RB Johnson spearheading Bengals' surge

The sudden emergence of RB Rudi Johnson has essentially sealed Corey Dillon's fate in Cincinnati.

Updated: November 17, 2003, 2:32 PM ET
By By Darrell Trimble | NFL Insider
The Cincinnati Bengals are in first place in their division this late in the season for the first time since their 1990 playoff season. The team ascended to the top of the AFC North after it defeated the previously undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. And though the win was guaranteed by receiver Chad Johnson, it was another Johnson who ensured the outcome of the game would be a Cincinnati victory.

Rudi Johnson carried the ball 22 times on Sunday for 165 yards, and none were more important than the 64 he got on the final drive of the game. The Bengals ran exclusively to the right side of their line, and Johnson broke a 54-yard gain that took the Bengals to the Kansas City 29-yard line. But that might not have been the most impressive run of the drive.

Two plays later on a second-and-seven with the ball at the Chiefs 27, Johnson was bottled up on a run to the right side, but quickly changed his direction and cut back for a four-yard gain. The run showed that he has the ability to be a feature back in this league.