ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Rams find themselves with an opportunity to finish with a winning record for the first time since 2003 and an outside shot of making the playoffs.
If they accomplish either, Sam Bradford and the offense won't be the main reason for the success. The Rams offense is 29th in scoring and the third-year quarterback is ranked 22nd.
There's plenty of blame to go around, from lack of execution to failures on third downs.
"There's a lot of things," offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said. "A couple of weeks ago, we had a bunch of drops. He'd obviously like to have a few throws back during the course of last game. Last game was probably a game where he got a minus grade for some of his throws last week that normally doesn't happen. You can't really put your finger on just one thing."
The inefficiencies have forced the defense and special teams to carry the load for the Rams, especially in the three-game winning streak they take into their game against Minnesota on Sunday. St. Louis has scored just four offensive touchdowns during the stretch and only scored more than 20 points four times this season. That includes a 31-17 victory at Arizona in which the defense scored two touchdowns.
Coach Jeff Fisher said getting more out of his offense is important, but it becomes even more so when facing Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
With an NFL-leading 1,600 yards, Peterson needs to average 134 yards over the last three games to become the seventh player to reach 2,000 yards in one season. The Rams could use some long drives to keep Peterson off the field.
"Obviously we're doing everything we possibly can to try to get the ball into the end zone," Fisher said. "We've played some very good defenses as of late, it's just one of those things. You hope you follow the course of our turnovers to where we went six weeks without a turnover then, all of a sudden, they came in bunches. We're hoping that perhaps touchdowns will come in bunches here soon."