Zach Ertz loves playing the Redskins. And not just because he's put up crazy numbers against them the last five years.
He just loves the rivalry.
"That's probably the one team it's the most fun to play against, in my opinion, because there's been so many great battles," Ertz said.
"Even though we've lost some of them, they're all very close games, and the fans are so close to one another that they really hate us and we really don't like them."
Ertz has 54 catches for 531 yards in nine career games against the Redskins.
Only two tight ends in history — Jason Witten (125 in 28 games) and Jackie Smith (62 in 27 games) — have more career receptions against the 'Skins. And only two active players have more catches vs. the Redskins than Ertz: Witten and Dez Bryant (58 in 12 games).
"I just like going against the Redskins I guess," he said. "The opportunities have been there the last couple games. It's a fun environment.
"It's really just having my number called and making the most of my opportunities."
Ertz has been here for five years now. He's been on some good teams and he's been on some bad teams.
Six weeks into this season, there's one thing that sets this team apart.
"I think it's a loose group, honestly," he said. "We're all pretty young, and none of us have been in this situation before so we're all kind of taking it day by day and just enjoying it.
"That's the thing that's stuck out to me this year. In years past we've maybe been a little tight, but I feel like this group is real loose and confident in our abilities.
"I think we've got a lot of guys that love the process. I know it's cliche in this city, but a lot of guys truly do love it here."
The Eagles, 5-1 with a four-game winning streak, are the hottest team in the NFL going into their NFC East showdown with the 3-2 Redskins at the Linc Monday night.
Head coach Doug Pederson made some significant changes this year in the way the Eagles practice. In past years, the first-team offense rarely practiced against the starting defense. This year, they have, and it's helped.
"We have a lot of competitive periods during the season that we didn't have in past seasons, where it's the 1's against the 1's on third down emphasis or 1's vs. the 1's in red zone," Ertz said. "So I think we're doing a lot of good stuff. People are attacking each and every day."
With the Eagles' Super Bowl odds improving and their status on everybody's NFL rankings skyrocketing, a major theme in the locker room this week is ignoring the outside noise and focusing on a Redskins team that's won three of four games since losing the opener at home to the Eagles.
"We were 3-1 last year so obviously that didn't play out too well for us, and that's in the back of everyone's mind," Ertz said. "We started off fast and didn't make the playoffs.
"Luckily, it's Year 5 for me in this city and I've kind of been around and I know how it is. If you win, you're the best thing ever and if you lose, you're not very good quickly. So we're just focused on this game. 6-1 is a lot better than 5-2."