Safety Glover Quin is saying all the right things about the Detroit Lions getting ready to play the last home game of a season that got off the track in the opening game and never really got on course.
With the Lions out of playoff contention -- something that became official with last week's loss to Buffalo -- he isn't interested in playing the spoiler role against a Vikings team clinging to the sixth and final spot in the NFC playoff field.
The game is the thing, as it always is for Quin, not the circumstances.
"Our focus is on us," he said this week. "It's a home game. A divisional opponent. A team we play twice a year, each and every year. It's the last home game for the year.
"I mean, after last week I stopped looking at the scenarios. I don't know who's chasing who, or whatever."
He went on a little longer – as professionally as he's ever been and forever will be – before the inevitable question came up.
Has he given any thought to the possibility that this could be his last game at Ford Field, and the last season of his 10-year career?
There was no dancing around the question. No attempt to change the subject. Just a slight pause before the answer.
"Yeah, I did think about that the other day," he said. "I was like, 'Wow, I played a lot of games at Ford Field.' Who knows? It may be. I don't know."
The thought of retirement is real. It hasn't crossed his mind like a flash of light and disappeared in a blink. Quin has played 10 seasons, the last six with the Lions since signing as a free agent in 2013.
Quin has made a mark on the team and the franchise, and his stay in Detroit has left some on him.
If he hasn't been the face of the franchise, he's been the measured voice and guiding hand, especially for the young members of the secondary who have looked to him to lead the way in good times, bad times and everything in between.
He is regarded as one of the smartest safeties in the league, with a respect level that's higher than his personal accomplishments of leading the league with seven interceptions in 2014 and making the Pro Bowl.
"There are some emotional thoughts," he said. "Like I said, for the last six years of my life, I've played a lot of games in there, a lot of great memories in there -- a lot of great moments in there.
"When I think about the possibility of it being the last one, that's a major thing for me."
Series history: The Lions have a 7-4 series lead since 2013, but the Vikings have won the last two – 30-23 on Thanksgiving Day last year, and 24-9 in Week 9 this year.
2018 Game rewind: The Vikings led all the way. Their defense dominated the Lions up front with a furious pass rush that produced 17 hits and a franchise-record 10 sacks on Matthew Stafford.
Vikings' O – lead change: For the second time in recent years the Vikings have made an in-season change in offensive coordinators, but for a different reason this year.
A difference in philosophy led head coach Mike Zimmer to fire John DeFilippo before last week's 41-17 win over Miami and promote quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski to coordinator.
In 2016 Norv Turner resigned unexpectedly in midseason. Pat Shurmur, now head coach of the Giants, was promoted from tight ends coach.
Zimmer's preference to stress the run game – and most likely a direct order to Stefanski – was evident in the 41-17 win over the Dolphins.
The Vikings rushed for 220 yards. Dalvin Cook led the ground assault with 19 carries for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Latavius Murry chipped in with 15 carries for 68 yards and a TD. The carries and yards were Cook's high for the season.
"I just wanted to be more balanced, really," Zimmer said in a conference-call interview with the Detroit media this week. "We were throwing the ball at a 66-percent clip, and I didn't feel like that was in the best interest of the team."
Vikings' D – sack attack: There's some good news – relatively good, anyway -- about the Vikings' pass rush.
They've turned down the heat – but just a notch -- since setting a franchise record with 10 sacks in the first meeting between the two teams. They had only nine in last week's win over the Dolphins.
Prediction: The Vikings' win over the Lions in Week 9 was their fourth in five games, and it looked like they were going to make a run to a second straight NFC North title. It didn't happen. They're 2-3 in the last five. They're favored to beat the Lions and should win, but nothing has come easily for the Vikings this year.
Vikings 23, Lions 20.