Trouble Brewing

Detroit, MI - With a one-game lead in the NFC North, the Minnesota Vikings need every victory they can get to remain atop the division.

Having a pair of Pro Bowl defensive linemen on the field instead of the sideline certainly can't hurt their cause.

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After a Minnesota judge issued a temporary restraining order this week blocking their league suspensions, Kevin and Pat Williams will likely be available to the Vikings Sunday for their game at winless Detroit.

Oddsmakers from online sports book have made the Vikings –9.5 point spread favorites (View NFL Football odds) for Monday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 61% of bets for this game have been placed on the Vikings –9.5 (View NFL Football bet percentages).

Kevin Williams and Pat Williams were among six NFL players suspended for four games Tuesday for testing positive for a banned diuretic, which can be used as a masking agent for steroids.

On Wednesday, though, Hennepin County District Judge Gary Larson issued a temporary restraining order at the players' request, saying he wanted more time to hear arguments in the case. No further hearing date immediately was set.

With the Williamses - who are unrelated - anchoring their defensive front, the Vikings (7-5) boast the league's No. 2 rushing defense, allowing 73.1 yards per game. In the 60 games they've played together, Minnesota has allowed just three individual 100-yard rushing performances.

If the suspensions are ultimately upheld, the Vikings will look to Fred Evans, Ellis Wyms, Letroy Guion and the newly signed Jimmy Kennedy to fill in for their Pro Bowl pair.

"When you go through a season, you know somewhere you're going to have adversity," Minnesota coach Brad Childress said. "That's our deal to contend with, and that's why you have a team. We expect the guys that are moving into those positions to do a great job and everyone to do the job behind them."

With last Sunday's 34-14 home victory over Chicago, the Vikings moved a game ahead of the Bears in the NFC North, and their now-suspended defensive linemen played a role in a pivotal goal-line stand.

Minnesota stopped the Bears on four plays from the 1-yard line, including three runs. On the next play, Gus Frerotte connected with Bernard Berrian on a 99-yard touchdown pass to give Minnesota a lead it never relinquished.

Thanks to that 99-yard touchdown pass, Frerotte had his first 200-yard performance in five starts.

In his last meeting with Detroit - a 12-10 win on Oct. 12 at the Metrodome, Frerotte completed 18 of 33 passes for 296 yards and a touchdown. He has thrown for at least 245 yards in each of his three career starts versus the Lions.

Berrian had a career-high 131 yards on five catches, including an 86-yard TD, in the October matchup.

Adrian Peterson moved into the league rushing lead after gaining 131 yards on 28 carries against Chicago last week. He has 1,311 yards and needs 31 more to top his production from last season, when he was the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year.

The Vikings running back has scored six touchdowns in the last six games, and rushed for 100 yards or more in five of the last seven. He has 227 yards in his last two meetings with Detroit.

The Lions (0-12) will not have played for 10 days heading into Sunday's game, and they might have needed that time to get over the worst loss of their miserable season.

Tennessee embarrassed Detroit 47-10 on Thanksgiving Day, holding the Lions to a season-low 154 yards total offense. The Titans scored 28 points in the first 15:40 to put the game out of reach early.

"We only confirmed what everybody was thinking about us as far as outside of Detroit and in Detroit," kicker Jason Hanson said. "I know everybody in here feels embarrassed that we did that on national TV."

The Lions produced six first downs and 23 rushing yards, while Daunte Culpepper was sacked twice.

The former Vikings quarterback has three touchdowns, six interceptions and a 53.6 passer rating in four games since coming out of retirement to sign a two-year contract with Detroit on Nov. 3.

He has faced his former team once, in a 29-22 loss for the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 18, 2007. Culpepper went 23-for-39 for 344 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Thanksgiving Day's only positive for the Lions might have been Hanson tying the league record for most career 50-yard field goals. With a 53-yarder in the first quarter - Hanson's 40th from 50 yards or more - he matched Morten Andersen's mark.

The Vikings have won 12 of their past 13 meetings with the Lions overall, and five of the last six matchups in Detroit.

Top Betting Trends:
All games in this series since 1992
DETROIT is 16-16 against the spread versus MINNESOTA since 1992
MINNESOTA is 24-9 straight up against DETROIT since 1992
18 of 33 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL since 1992
Games over the last 3 seasons
MINNESOTA is 3-1 against the spread versus DETROIT over the last 3 seasons 
MINNESOTA is 4-1 straight up against DETROIT over the last 3 seasons 
3 of 5 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
All games played at DETROIT since 1992
DETROIT is 8-7 against the spread versus MINNESOTA since 1992
MINNESOTA is 9-7 straight up against DETROIT since 1992
11 of 16 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL since 1992
Games played at DETROIT over the last 3 seasons.
MINNESOTA is 1-0 against the spread versus DETROIT over the last 3 seasons 
DETROIT is 1-1 straight up against MINNESOTA over the last 3 seasons 
1 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
Key Player Injuries
[DE] Jayme Mitchell IR - Knee - 08/09/08
[DE] Kenechi Udeze IR - Illness - 08/16/08
[LB] E.J. Henderson IR - Foot - 10/04/08
[LB] Vinny Ciurciu injured last game, "?" - Hand - 11/16/08
[LB] Heath Farwell IR - Knee - 08/11/08
[DT] Kenderick Allen IR - Wrist - 08/19/08
[TE] Garrett Mills injured last game, "?" - Ankle - 11/16/08
[CB] Charles Gordon expected to miss rest of season - Ankle - 11/10/08
[DE] Dwayne White missed last game, "?" - Calf - 11/16/08
[FS] Gerald Alexander IR - Neck - 10/13/08
[C] Dominic Raiola missed last game, "?" - Thumb - 11/16/08
[CB] Stanley Wilson IR - Achilles - 09/04/08
[DE] Jared DeVries missed last game, "?" - Hand - 11/16/08
[QB] Jon Kitna IR - Back - 10/14/08
[S] Dwight Smith missed last game, "?" - Foot - 11/16/08
[WR] Mike Furrey missed last game, "?" - Concussion - 11/16/08
[TE] Dan Campbell IR - Hamstring - 09/09/08
[FB] Jon Bradley IR - Shoulder - 08/20/08
[QB] Dan Orlovsky is out indefinitely - Thumb - 11/07/08
[FB] Jerome Felton missed last game, "?" - Ankle - 11/16/08

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Posted: 12/3/08 9:06 PM ET

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