Chip Kelly stepped to the podium Monday at NovaCare knowing the clock is ticking, the Eagles forced to go from a Sunday night game in Dallas, which put them in the playoffs but left them getting home just before dawn, to a Saturday night Wild Card playoff encounter with the Saints. It's the shortest week you could possibly have this time of year, when there are no Monday or Thursday games.
"The challenge is Drew Brees," Kelly said, when asked about the Saints. "He's just so talented and has such a great command of what they're doing. You've got five guys in a progression, he can go from one to five like that. He understands coverage. He understands how you're playing him. Very, very difficult to fool. He's been around for such a long time. It's a lot like the matchup when you play Peyton Manning -- they are so skilled in their offense and what they're doing that you've got to present a lot of different looks ... He's got a lot of weapons to throw to; I think that's what makes them so diverse. You just can't hone in and say, 'If we can take away this one guy, we'll be in pretty good shape.' "
The 11-5 Saints were 8-0 at home this year but 3-5 on the road, where they have lost five of their last six. They haven't won a road playoff game in franchise history, assuming you count the Super Bowl as a neutral site game, neither home nor away.
Brees has completed 446 of 650 passes this season (68.6 percent) for 5,162 yards, 39 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He has a 104.7 passer rating.
Jimmy Graham, the former basketball player turned tight end, has 86 catches, 16 of them for touchdowns, accounting for 1,215 yards. This might not be a great matchup for an Eagles team that saw Jason Witten frolic for a dozen catches and 135 yards Sunday night.
Kelly said the Eagles will just accelerate their normal weekly schedule by one day. "Tomorrow's Wednesday, Wednesday's Thursday, Thursday's Friday," Kelly said.
"I think they stuck together as a group," Kelly said when asked how his team went from 3-5 after getting blown out in Denver three months ago to 10-6. "We're mentally and physically tough. We don't make excuses, and we work hard. I think they stuck to that."