The Washington Redskins on Sunday travel to the brand new Levi's Stadium to take on a talented San Francisco 49ers squad, but for DeSean Jackson, his team's opponent has been priority No. 2 this week.
The wide receiver – a three-time Pro Bowler in his first year in Washington – said it's been important for his team to first focus on itself in the wake of the Redskins' 27-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday at FedExField.
A look back at some of the top images in games played between the Washington Redskina and San Francisco 49ers.
Sure, 49ers – as usual – feature one of the best defenses in the league, but Jackson said he's not really getting "too caught up in that."
"We have a job to do, which is go out there and compete and play at a high level, and we're focused on ourselves," Jackson said Thursday. "It doesn't matter who we're playing."
Jackson this season has been a model of consistency for the Redskins (3-7), who have been one of two teams in the league to start three quarterbacks in their first 10 games of the 2014 season.
He leads the team in receiving yards (819), average yards per catch (20.5), longest reception (81 yards) and receiving touchdowns (four), and is second to Pierre Garçon in receptions with 43.
But while Jackson continues to rack up the yards and the big plays, his team continues to be plagued by inconsistent play across the board. The seventh-year pro said the Redskins' goal for the remainder of the season is to "play for your pride."
"Throughout the whole year, I think we had a lot of mistakes, a lot (of) games where we shot ourselves in the foot," he said. "The remainder of our season [the goal] is to go out there and just do your best game on tape … You got to play for the name on your jersey and the organization, so hopefully we can go through it [on] a good note."
In March, Jackson was inexplicably released by the Philadelphia Eagles after six seasons with the organization and three Pro Bowl appearances. The Redskins jumped at the opportunity to sign the speedster, who had definitely done his fair share of damage against them in the past.
Jackson visited just one team during his brief stint as a free agent – the Redskins – but said this week that the 49ers were likely the next stop on that tour had he not signed with Washington.
Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said he's glad that visit out West didn't end up panning out.
"There's a reason why we didn't let him go. We wanted to make sure we get the deal done," Gruden said. "The only thing I said was, 'Let's not let him out of here because if we let him go there's a good chance we won't get him back.' So [President/general manager] Bruce [Allen] did a great job of not letting him out of the restaurant or wherever they were and all the other guys that were involved did a good job."
Jackson said it's "definitely frustrating" to see the Eagles currently sitting atop the NFC East standings with a 7-3 record, but said he's more worried about helping get the Redskins back to where they want to be.
"We all have to fight it out ourselves. We're all in it together. This isn't no one-man thing," Jackson said. "It's everybody fighting to get out of it as a whole. You just got to do everything you can to play at a high level and play for pride."
Sunday's game, meanwhile, will also be another opportunity for Jackson to play in front of several friends and family in the Long Beach, Calif., and California alum's home state.
Jackson said he bought "a lot of tickets" for the game, so he hopes to give his friends and family lots to cheer about.
"I love anytime I'm able to go back home and play in front of my home fans and family and things like that," Jackson said. "It'll be a great opportunity to go through that, but at the end of the day it's business, so hopefully we can leave there with a win."