Kirk Cousins Carson Wentz
Quarterbacks Kirk Cousins #8 of the Washington Redskins and Carson Wentz #11 Philadelphia Eagles after the game at FedExField on Sept. 10, 2017 in Landover, Maryland. Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

There might be no bigger game in Week 7 of the 2017 NFL season than the matchup on “Monday Night Football.” The Philadelphia Eagles host the Washington Redskins, looking to distance themselves from the rest of the NFC East.

No team in the NFC has gotten off to a better start than Philadelphia. They lead the conference with a 5-1 record, and their only loss came on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs, who share the NFL’s best record with the Eagles.

Philadelphia’s record gives them a 1.5-game lead in the division. They are four games ahead of the New York Giants, who have been the NFL’s most disappointing team. The Dallas Cowboys are 2.5 games behind Philadelphia, having lost three of their last four games.

That leaves Washington as arguably the biggest threat to Philadelphia’s division title hopes. At 3-2, the Redskins are a clear playoff contender, and they’ve looked like the second-best team in the NFC East. Dallas has seemingly taken a step back because of their defense, while Washington has been good on both sides of the ball.

Washington’s success, however, didn’t start until Week 2. They dropped the season opener at home to Philadelphia by 13 points, making Monday’s game even more important.

A loss Monday night would put the Redskins 2.5 games behind the Eagles in the NFC East standings, but Philadelphia might as well have a 3.5-game lead. Two wins over Washington would give Philadelphia the tiebreaker over their division rivals, putting the Eagles firmly in the driver’s seat to finish the year in first place.

By defeating the Carolina Panthers in Week 6, the Eagles established themselves as the best team in the NFC. A win over Washington could erase any doubts that they should be considered the favorites to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LII.

Things can change quickly in the NFL, especially this season. Just look at what the league’s best and worst teams have done week-to-week.

Kansas City won their first five games by having the league’s most explosive offense, and they were finally defeated at home when they were held to just 251 total yards. The Giants didn’t pick up their first win until they traveled to Denver and were forced to play without their three best receivers.

Washington is one of the most difficult opponents Philadelphia will face all season. The Redskins’ only two losses have come at the hands of the teams with the two best records. Washington’s last appearance on “Monday Night Football” was a loss in Kansas City, a game they easily could’ve won.

The Redskins rank ahead of the Eagles in both yards per play—​Washington is fifth and Philadelphia is eighth—and yards per play allowed—​Washington is 15th and Philadelphia is 26th.

Carson Wentz has been impressive, and he’s only scratching the surface in year No.2. But it’s time to recognize Kirk Cousins for what he is—​one of the NFL’s 10 best quarterbacks.

After two strong seasons, Cousins is playing even better in 2017. His 106.4 passer rating ranks behind only that of Alex Smith and Tom Brady.

Prior to Week 1, Washington had been dominating Philadelphia in recent head-to-head matchups with five straight wins. The Redskins had covered the spread in their previous six games with the Eagles.

The Redskins are 4.5-point road underdogs, according to the betting odds at OddsShark, and the over/under is 49. Look for Washington to pull off the upset, keeping their NFC East hopes alive and well.

Prediction: Washington over Philadelphia, 30-26