LONDON -- Serving as NFL ambassadors is only the 49ers' side job here. Winning a fifth straight game is of utmost importance.
That Wembley Stadium victory isn't a lock, or so the 49ers players and coaches have insisted all week despite Sunday's winless opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"It'll be a lot of fun, but this game will tell a lot about us as a team, because the Jaguars are coming in and they're not a bad team," 49ers tight end Vernon Davis said. "There's not a bad team in the NFL, and that's what I want everyone to know."
Sell it, Vernon. Sell it. Sell it. The NFL wants to put on a competitive-enough show to draw further global interest, especially in England.
The 49ers-Jaguars tilt marks the second game in a month here, following the Minnesota Vikings' 34-27 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in a Sept. 29 meeting of winless teams. This is the first year the NFL has played two games in London. Three games will be exported next year, including a Raiders-Dolphins matchup and one involving the Jaguars, who've designated a home game for London each of the next four seasons.
If the Jaguars wanted to enhance their profile in England, the 49ers sure helped with hyperbolic praise of their opponent all week.
"We were just watching film and honestly one of my questions was, 'How are they still 0-7?' " linebacker Patrick Willis said. "I try not to pay attention to win/loss when we're facing a team. But the more I look at them on film, wow, they have some playmakers."
Although Bay Area product Maurice Jones-Drew remains the Jaguars' offensive centerpiece, Chad Henne -- who's unseated Blaine Gabbert as the starting quarterback -- will be trying to connect with second-year wideout Justin Blackmon.
Suspended the first four games, Blackmon is averaging 128 yards receiving over three games.
"They've made a lot of improvements here in the last few weeks," defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. "The evidence is on the tape when you watch it. And then the evidence is on paper when you look at their stats."
Really? As their record might reflect, the Jaguars rank last in scoring, both from an offensive and defense perspective. Their offense is gaining the fewest yards in the league, and their defense is allowing the most rushing yards.
That later area could bode especially well for the 49ers, who've ridden a resurgent rushing attack to four consecutive wins and a 5-2 record.
Making it five straight victories is their goal, and perhaps their survival instinct as two-time defending champions of the NFC West, which is led by the Seattle Seahawks (6-1).
"We're trailing Seattle right now, so our mindset is we've got to get this one," defensive tackle Justin Smith said. "We're close, but we're behind. Motivation shouldn't be a factor."
Nor should it be for the winless Jaguars.
"You're playing for your job, playing for your career, when you're an 0-for team," Smith added. "We expect we'll get the best game they can play."
The better the game, the better the show for an international audience that the NFL is trying to enrapture.
The 49ers were part of this gambit three years ago, coming to London and defeating the Denver Broncos under then-coach Mike Singletary.
If the Wembley crowd was energized for a Steelers-Vikings matchup, then the reigning NFC champions should do the trick, too. Even if the 49ers draw more support than the "home team" Jaguars, that doesn't mean they'll want to relocate here.
"I have to be a little biased in saying there's no place like home, no place like playing in Candlestick," Willis said. "But it's a great opportunity to come to another country to show American football. ... It's an honor."