Corey Dillon

Corey Dillon should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but due to his career being before the advent of social media and playing for an unsuccessful team, fans of today don't remember his excellence. We'll lay out the reasons why Corey Dillon deserves to be in the Hall of Fame on this website for those who want to know more.

Reason 1: Elevating a Bad Team

Unfortunately, he spent the majority of his career playing for a woeful Bengals team that went 34-112 in his 7 seasons in Cincinnati. Only one team won less games in those 7 years - the Cleveland Browns, who weren't reinstated into the NFL until 1999.


When he finally played for a competent team, Dillon immediately set the single season rushing record for the New England Patriots with a whopping 1,635 yards en route to his first Super Bowl victory in 2004.

But it can't be overstated how little help Dillon had in Cincinnati. Let's look at the QBs who led the Bengals offense at the time.

1Jon Kitna9,985
2Corey Dillon8,061
3Jeff Blake5,534
4Neil O'Donnell2,216
5Akili Smith2,212
6Boomer Esiason1,478
7Scott Mitchell1,004
8Gus Frerotte437
9Paul Justin426
10Eric Kresser164
11Scott Covington23

Yes you read that table correctly. Dillon had more rushing yards than all but one of the QBs he played with had passing yards.

Needless to say, Corey Dillon was the focus of the offense. Just to hammer home the point, let's look specifically at the 1999 and 2000 season.

League Ranking
Season Passing Yards Passing TDs Rushing Yards Rushing TDs
1999 23rd 22nd 6th 17th
2000 31st 31st 2nd 17th

Teams knew that the Bengals were going to run it. Dillon faced defenses that would load 8 and 9 players in the box to stop him. He still managed to lead the 6th and 2nd best rushing attacks in those years.

Reason 2: He has the Numbers

Playing against defenses loaded up to stop the run didn't stop Dillon from amassing 11,241 rushing yards (20th most in NFL history) and 82 rushing TDs (18th most in NFL history). The only players not in the Hall of Fame with these numbers? Adrian Peterson (who isn't eligible yet), and Corey Dillon.

Gold bubbles denote HoF members. Circle size is relative to rushing yards per game.

Career Rushing Yards

Gold denotes HoF members. Grey denotes non-HoF members.

Career Rushing TDs

Gold denotes HoF members. Grey denotes non-HoF members.

Reason 3: He was Unstoppable

Rookie Single Game Rushing Record

In his rookie season, Dillon set the single game rushing record in week 15 vs the Houston Oilers when he rampaged for 246 yards, breaking Jim Brown's record that had stood for over 40 years.

NFL Single Game Rushing Record

In 2000, with a 31st-ranked passing offense and a team that had started the season 0-6, Dillon again broke the single game rushing record against a Denver Broncos team that would finish 11-5 and finished the season with the 7th ranked rushing defense. Dillon ran for 278 yards on only 22 carries, averaging over 12 yards per carry. He had six carries for 20 or more yards.

The Bengals entered the second half trailing 10-14. They attempted five passes in the second half of the game, and completed none of them. In fact, Bengals QBs combined to complete 2 of their 14 attempts for 34 whole yards in the entire game.