NFL: CINCINNATI (5-8) at SAN FRANCISCO (3-10) <h3>Bengals, 49ers playing out the string</h3> <div class="pre">Cincinnati (5-8) at San Francisco (3-10) Saturday 8:15 pm EST</div> SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) - A season of once-promising hopes issputtering to the finish line for the Cincinnati Bengals and SanFrancisco 49ers. The Bengals visit the stumbling 49ers in a matchup of two teamsalready eliminated from postseason contention. An early four-game losing streak all but ended the season beforeit started for Cincinnati, which has been unable to winback-to-back games despite being touted as one of the favoritesto win the AFC North. The Bengals' defense was unable to stop anyone early in theseason and the offense, expected to be among the league's best,has stumbled in big spots, managing a total of 23 points in twolosses to Pittsburgh and 13 against New England. Last week, Cincinnati needed four field goals from Shayne Grahamto struggle past the feeble Rams, 19-10. Carson Palmer completed 21-of-29 passes for 189 yards with twointerceptions for the Bengals (5-8), who are looking to avoidtheir first losing season since Marvin Lewis took over as coachin 2003. Rudi Johnson, struggling through an injury-plagued campaign, hadhis second-best output of the season, rushing for 92 yards anda touchdown on 23 carries. It was just the third TD run forJohnson, who had 12 in each of the past three seasons. "We ran more power stuff downhill," Johnson said. "We ran rightat them. I'm getting better and better each week. We justhave to stick to it." San Francisco has been even worse, primarily due to an ineptoffense that has generated a league-low 171 points. Already reeling from 10 losses in their last 11 games, the 49erslikely will be forced to start Shaun King at quarterback. King had never attempted a pass in the NFL until relieving aninjured Trent Dilfer in last week's 27-7 loss to the MinnesotaVikings. Playing the entire second half after Dilfer suffered aconcussion, King finished 22-of-28 with one TD pass. Last week marked San Francisco's fifth straight loss at home,matching the futility of the team that dropped five in a row athome in 2004.