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Week 18 opponent: What the Vikings are saying

What are the Minnesota Vikings talking about ahead of this week's regular season finale against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field? Let's find out:

1. The Vikings (7-9) are preparing to play the Lions for the second time in three weeks. Detroit beat Minnesota by six points Week 16 in Minneapolis to win their first division title since 1993. Minnesota must win – and have multiple scenarios fall their way – to reach the postseason. Detroit is currently the No. 3 seed in the NFC playoff picture and can still improve to the No. 2 spot with a win over the Vikings and losses by Dallas at Washington and Philadelphia at the New York Giants.

"Opportunity this week in the NFC North, going on the road against the division champions," Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell said. "Just played this team. We know them well.

"I imagine our guys will be ready to come back and get to work this week and see if we can put together a good game plan, have some good preparation and have it translate to what we do on the field Sunday in Detroit."

2. O'Connell said Wednesday that veteran Nick Mullens will start at quarterback for the Vikings Sunday. Mullens started and was 22-of-36 for 411 yards with two touchdowns, four interceptions and a 79.5 passer rating in Detroit's 30-24 win over Minnesota Week 16.

3. Linebacker Jordan Hicks said this week's matchup in Detroit is all about pride for the Vikings.

"It's about pride, it's about moving forward, it's about responding to adversity," he said via "We've got another opportunity."

4. Green Bay's defense had a combined 14 quarterback hits and four sacks against the Vikings last week as Minnesota scored just 10 points in a 33-10 loss.

"I'm gonna go to work. And I know everyone in this locker room will do the same so there's no question about that," Vikings guard Dalton Risner said. "That's what you have to do. Can't tuck tail and run. There are two types of people in this life. Tuck tail and run, or put your chin up and go to work, and I know that's what I'm gonna do. And that's what this locker room is going to do."

View photos of the starters for the Minnesota Vikings.

5. There's a lot that needs to fall Minnesota's way for them to earn a playoff spot that's outside of their control, but none of it matters if they don't win Sunday in Detroit.

All-Pro wide receiver Justin Jefferson said that's big motivation for them this week.

"All we can control is winning this game this week," he said. "We're just trying to win, we're just trying to make sure that we're playing our best ball on Sunday. We feel like we haven't played our best ball all around yet."

6. Risner said he expects the Lions to play mad Sunday after how the Dallas game ended last week.

"They still have something to play for, too," he said. "They are trying to figure out where they are going to be (seeded in playoffs). Even if they don't, they are going to play hard, that's a good program."

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