Some of the NFL’s disappointing teams are not only playing out the string the next two weeks, but their prospects on the field and...

Some of the NFL’s disappointing teams are not only playing out the string the next two weeks, but their prospects on the field and at the gate also don’t bode well for next season.

The turnarounds of the San Francisco 49ers (11-3) and Houston Texans (10-4) are two of the feel-good stories in the league this season. At the opposite end of the spectrum are the Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars. Those four teams have only 12 combined wins this season.

Bounce-back years don’t appear to be on the horizon for them, either, as losses mount and fans stay away.

The NFL’s worst team, the Indianapolis Colts (1-13) will at least have the return of future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning or most likely the No. 1 pick in the draft — probably Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck — to help reverse their fortunes. Don’t expect the Vikings, Rams, Bucs and Jags to be so lucky.

The decline of the Vikings (2-12) actually began late last season after heavy snow collapsed the roof of the Metrodome in Minneapolis. The Vikings were forced to play two “home” games in Detroit and at the University of Minnesota. They lost three of their final four last season, and quarterback Brett Favre finally decided to retire permanently.

Stadium issues continue to hang over the franchise this season, the worst in the team’s history. Plans for a new stadium are tied up in political wrangling, but the Vikings’ Metrodome lease expires after their finale, January 1 against the Chicago Bears. So, fans are again unsure where the team will be playing next season.

“I’ve been here for 20 years, and it’s as bad as it was prior to when they drafted Randy Moss [in 1998], when the team was coming out of another down era,” Mike Nowakowski, co-owner of Minneapolis-based Ticket King, told TicketNews. “We’ve lost a lot of season ticket holders.”

Nowakowski said the stadium uncertainty will likely cost more fans.

“Some are ready to cut bait, and are trying to get rid of tickets on the secondary market,” Nowakowski said. “But I can tell you, we’re here, we’ve got tickets and we’re not making any money on the Vikings.”

In St. Louis, the Rams (2-12) have taken a step back from a 7-9 season in 2010. That season showed promise with No. 1 draft pick Sam Bradford at quarterback, but an injury-plagued 0-6 start this year stalled that progress.

The Rams have scored the fewest touchdowns in the league (eight) and are next-to-last in attendance (averaging 56,451 at the 66,000-seat Edward Jones Dome).

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-10) were also coming off a promising 10-6 season, but they have slumped on the field and in ticket sales this year. The Bucs are just ahead of the Rams in average attendance, 30th out of 32 NFL teams (56,614 at 65,800-seat Raymond James Stadium).

Five of Tampa Bay’s eight home games have been blacked out locally this season. So, the fans who are staying home also are unable to watch the Bucs from their living rooms.

The Bucs said the team will reduce prices on 80 percent of tickets for next season, and they will keep the remainder at the same price in an attempt to win back fans.

The Jaguars (4-10) have a new owner in Pakistani-born Shahid Khan, who bought the team from Wayne Weaver for an estimated $760 million earlier this month. But they haven’t had a winning season since 2007.

Another poor finish cost Jags coach Jack Del Rio his job after nine years, and rookie QB Blaine Gabbert has underperformed.

Off the field, the Jags have struggled to fill EverBank Field, but they have enlisted some creativity to avoid blackouts. They’ve discounted and bought back tickets to guarantee sellouts, and they covered sections of the stadium with tarps to reduce capacity from more than 80,000 to 67,000.

Khan temporarily allayed fears of moving the team by insisting at his introductory press conference last week that he was committed to keeping the team in Jacksonville. He has agreed to pay a $25 million donation to a charity of Weaver’s choice if he moves the team. The NFL would also charge a hefty relocation fee.

Still, he acknowledged attendance has to improve.

“They can’t support an NFL team with 40,000 or 50,000,” Khan said last week. “We’re gonna do everything to get them. You gotta fill the stands.”