CINCINNATI - Doesn't take a genius to figure out that the Washington Redskins are in a mess of trouble.
They lost for the fifth time in six games yesterday, unable to keep up with one of the NFL's lowliest teams. Ryan Fitzpatrick ran for a touchdown and threw for another, leading the Cincinnati Bengals to a 20-13 victory that ended the Redskins' week of grousing.
And, pretty much, their playoff chances, too.
The Redskins host the Eagles next Sunday (4:15 p.m., Fox).
"I'm speechless," said fullback Mike Sellers, whose goal-line fumble became the final blow. "We're having a hard time beating some of the worst teams."
They looked like one of them in a game they had to win.
The main intrigue was how the Redskins (7-7) would react to injuries that decimated their offensive line and grumbling by running back Clinton Portis that rippled through the locker room. They held a players-only meeting at midweek after Portis derisively called coach Jim Zorn a "genius" for benching him the previous week.
Portis got plenty of work - 25 carries for 77 yards - but also dropped a pass on Washington's final drive. He knew where to put the blame for this one.
"It's pretty tough," Portis said. "We had an opportunity to come in here and keep our season alive, and we let it slip away. We didn't execute. You can't put that on the coaches. It was on us on the field."
An offensive line missing both tackles with injuries couldn't open holes for Portis at the outset. Washington fell behind by 17-0 against the Bengals (2-11-1), who consider it a big day when they get even one touchdown.
Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell finished 17-for-28 for 167 yards.
"There's so much frustration going on right now, I don't know if I'm fit to even talk," Redskins receiver Santana Moss said.
Fitzpatrick shocked the Redskins' hardscrabble defense by reviving an offense that hadn't reached the end zone in 12 quarters. His 79-yard screen pass to Cedric Benson gave the Bengals their longest play of the season and set up one of the scores. He also scored from the 1-yard line on a bootleg, going in untouched. *