That Chad Greenway: Always willing to work with youth, even youths trying to take his job.

"Taking down the Christmas tree," he said Tuesday from his living room. "My 15-month-old is trying to take all of the ornaments off before I can get to them. She may rip the whole tree down.

"She never gives up. I'm sure I'll appreciate that quality at some point."

Someday, she may appreciate that quality in her old man.

The Vikings' senior linebacker is preparing for one of the most meaningful games of his career Sunday at Lambeau Field. He'll be frequently asked whether this might be his last trip to Green Bay.

It's a sensitive topic. Greenway knows that if the Vikings lose, they could return to Lambeau Field the following week, although he doesn't want to think about that. He knows that one of his jobs as a leader is to concentrate on this week's game, and to teach his younger teammates to do the same. He also knows that if he decided to play another year, he'd need the Vikings as willing partners, since he doesn't want to finish his career elsewhere.

Even with all of those qualifiers in place, Greenway said he would like to play another season.

"My focus all season has been to focus on what I need to do to help this team, whatever my role was going to be," he said. "We've seen my role take shape as the season has gone on. I've played entire games at times, because of injuries. I think my play has spoken for itself. I feel like I've played pretty well.

"I want to enjoy this moment, and enjoy the playoffs. To me, it rejuvenates you as an athlete and a person to go through this and have this in front of you. I'm probably going to play next year. To go through a year like we've gone through and to be part of this has been really fun."

The affection between Greenway and his younger teammates was made clear again Sunday night, when he led them back onto a frozen field at 11 p.m. for a group photo, then needled them when they returned to the locker room, telling linebacker Eric Kendricks, "That's a rookie answer!" as he took questions from a reporter.

In what could have been a season of farewells and mentorship, Greenway has looked spry and effective on the field, leading to the most fitting culmination a Vikings season can have: a game for the division title on a cold night at Lambeau.

"It feels more special at this point in my career," he said. "I know how fleeting these experiences are. We haven't been in this situation every year, like the Patriots and the Packers and the Bengals. We haven't had many of these opportunities. This is my fourth time in the playoffs in 10 years. We've worked very hard every year to be this kind of team, and over time you realize how rare, and hard, this is."

He's seen the full moons and flying birds outside Lambeau many times. Eventually, he'll miss them.

"It's just a great stadium, a great environment," he said. "I feel like their fans do a great job of securing a home-field advantage, but as a Vikings player, one thing you notice is that we do put a lot of people into the stands. I'm proud of that as a player."

Greenway hasn't won at Lambeau this decade. He's hoping he can finish his career with a two-game winning streak there.

"It's just so frustrating because this hasn't been much of a rivalry," he said. "They've dominated the series, and it's fitting for us to go there and try to end their reign as division champs.

"We know how difficult it will be. As frustrating as this rivalry has been, we're the ones who have everything to do with that, and we're the ones who can end it."