Originally created 12/18/06

Philadelphia Eagles flying high

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Who needs Donovan McNabb? Jeff Garcia has the Philadelphia Eagles on the verge of a playoff berth and possibly the NFC East title.

Garcia threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Brown and a 2-point conversion, and Trent Cole returned an interception 19 yards for a touchdown 10 seconds later Sunday, leading the Eagles to a 36-22 win over the New York Giants.

The error-plagued game unworthy of two playoff contenders was the third consecutive victory for the Eagles (8-6) and left them in control of their playoff destiny.

If they win in Dallas (9-5) next week and Atlanta at home two weeks later, they win the division title.

The Giants (7-7) still have a shot at the playoffs despite losing for the fifth time in six games. They face New Orleans here next weekend and then close at Washington.

However, they hold a tiebreaker with Atlanta (7-7) for the sixth and final playoff berth in the conference.

Brian Westbrook scored on runs of 1 and 28 yards and Correll Buckhalter scored on a 2-yard run for Philadelphia, which is 3-1 since McNabb was lost for the season with a knee injury.

Westbrook has more than 1,000 yards rushing for the first time in his career.

Tiki Barber scored on an 11-yard run, Jay Feely kicked three field goals and Brandon Jacobs scored from 1 yard out with 6:59 left in the fourth quarter, a score that gave New York a 22-21 lead after a 2-point conversion run by Barber was stopped.

Garcia, who committed one of the dumbest plays of his career to set up Jacobs' go-ahead run, then led the Eagles on a winning eight-play, 80-yard drive.

Westbrook, who rushed for 97 yards and caught five passes for 40, started the winning drive with a 9-yard run. Garcia, 19 of 28 for 237, hit tight end L.J. Smith for 27 yards to the Giants 36 three plays later. On the TD, Garcia pump-faked and found a wide-open Brown for a 27-22 lead. A 2-point pass to Smith was successful.

Then Sheldon Brown blitzed on New York's next play and hit Eli Manning as he was throwing. The ball popped in the air and Cole, a defensive end, caught it and strutted into end zone.

It was sweet revenge for Brown, who was beaten on an overtime touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress in Week 2 in Philadelphia.


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