USA TODAY Sports
Two unlikely successes are looking for a way into the playoffs.
Very few thought the Minnesota Vikings or St. Louis Rams stood a chance of being playoff teams in 2012. Both organizations were in the process of rebuilding, and while each team had talent, prevailing wisdom said that it was just too soon. After Sunday this will be the case for one team, but as it stands both Minnesota and St. Louis are hoping to find a back door into the playoffs.
It begins and ends with Adrian Peterson for the Vikings. The NFL's leading rusher is almost assured to take home a major post-season award, and whether it's MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, or Comeback Player of the Year honors, Peterson has his sights set a little higher -- Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record. The record has remained intact since 1984 when Dickerson set the mark of 2,105 yards. With three games in hand, getting another 506 yards seems like a herculean effort, but given Peterson has totaled 472 in the last three weeks, including the vaunted Chicago Bears' defense twice -- it doesn't seem so impossible.
The St. Louis Rams may be third in their division, but they're not eliminated yet. Their 6-6-1 record keeps them behind the talented 49ers and Seahawks, but on the back of an aggressive defense which has totaled 39 sacks on the season, Jeff Fisher has built a team who need just enough on offense to get over the hump.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, December 16; 1:00 pm ET
Location: Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, Missouri
TV Distribution Map: The506.com
Vikings and Rams: Sirius - 112, 138