Eagles
Giants
36 - 22 Final
  for this game

Eagles win third straight, take lead in wild-card race

Dec 18, 2006 - 3:35 AM EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Jeff Garcia proved that the Philadelphia Eagles are more than Donovan McNabb and a supporting cast.

Garcia hit Reggie Brown with a go-ahead 19-yard touchdown pass with 2:57 left in the fourth quarter and defensive tackle Trent Cole returned an interception 19 yards for a score 10 seconds later to lead the Eagles to a pivotal 36-22 victory over the New York Giants in a battle of NFC East rivals.

The win was the third in a row for the Eagles (8-6), who have taken the lead over the Giants (7-7) and Atlanta Falcons (7-7) in the race for the two wild-card spots with two to play. Philadelphia can also move into first place in the NFC East with a win at Dallas next week.

All three wins have come with Garcia at quarterback. Philadelphia's playoff hopes was thought to have ended when Pro Bowl quarterback McNabb tore his ACL in a November 19 loss to Tennessee.

Garcia, a Pro Bowl quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers from 2001-03, took over and lost his first start for the Eagles at Indianapolis on November 26, but bounced back with five touchdown passes in back-to-back wins over Carolina and Washington.

"I was starting to lose faith in football," said Garcia, who was 19-of-28 for 237 yards and one touchdown with an interception. "To be back in the saddle again and help lead this team and letting loose like I used to when I was a lot younger, it's been a lot of fun. A year ago, I was not thinking that this could happen to me."

Garcia completed 4-of-4 passes for 63 yards on Philadelphia's game-winning drive while New York's Eli Manning, the No. 1 overall pick in 2004, threw an interception that was returned for a score by Cole.

The Giants took a 22-21 lead when Brandon Jacobs scored on a one-yard run with 6:59 left, taking advantage of Garcia's first interception in 174 throws. Safety Will Demps picked off the errant throw at the Giants 12 and got help after a lateral to R.W. McQuarters to put the ball on the Eagles 35.

A 20-yard pass interference penalty against Eagles cornerback Sheldon Brown, who slightly pushed Plaxico Burress, brought the Giants to the 2 before Jacobs scored.

Garcia then directed an eight-play, 80-yard drive in 4:02, capping it with a perfectly-thrown 19-yard pass down the right sideline to Reggie Brown, who beat McQuarters. Garcia then hit tight end L.J. Smith with the two-point conversion to increase the lead to 29-22.

On the next play from scrimmage, Manning was hit by a blitzing Brown and floated a pass that was picked off by Cole, who easily strutted into the end zone.

"When I decided to go, I got a late jump trying to disguise and hold it," Brown said. "You have an exuberant feeling after you do it."

"I saw it in the air and it was floating," Cole said. "I saw Tiki (Barber) coming and saw him swatting at it and as soon as it came, I snatched it real quick and took it to the house."

After the touchdown by Cole, Garcia found defensive leader Jeremiah Trotter on the sideline and kissed him.

"To get a sealing interception for a touchdown like the defense gave us was a sweet thing," Garcia said. "And that's why Trotter got a kiss on the helmet."

Brian Westbrook had 97 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries and added 40 yards on five receptions for the Eagles. Westbrook's touchdown dive over the pile on 4th-and-1 gave Philadelphia a 14-7 lead in the second quarter, and his 28-yard scamper up the middle of the field made it 21-16 early in the fourth.

With McNabb out, the usually soft-spoken Westbrook has become a more vocal leader.

"I've stepped up and spoken a little more just to let the guys know they have my support, and they have responded," Westbrook said. "Donovan was the kind of a leader we have depended on a lot for those things. Now is an opportunity for me to step up a little bit more."

Now the Eagles can look forward to playing in Dallas, and against former teammate Terrell Owens on Christmas with control of the NFC East on the line.

"Last year we were a team divided," Westbrook said. "We weren't together at all. And that started early on during the season. This year when Donovan went down, we rallied. Now we have hope."

Panned for his inaccuracy, Manning was 24-of-34 for 262 yards and was intercepted twice. Manning hit Burress six times for 120 yards, while Barber had 75 yards on 19 carries and 23 more on four receptions.

"It was a major letdown for us," Burress said. "This was a team we thought we could beat, but it didn't work out that way."

New York got off to a good start, with help from Chad Morton, whose 38-yard punt return set up Barber's 11-yard scoring run to give the Giants a 7-0 lead 2:26 into the game.

The Eagles countered with a 12-play, 80-yard drive that culminated with Correll Buckhalter's 2-yard scoring run.

Jay Feely booted a 47-yard field goal three seconds before halftime to pull New York within 14-10.

Feely's 23-yarder was the only scoring of the third quarter and his 24-yarder gave the Giants a 16-14 edge with 14:08 remaining in the game.

"Here's exactly what I told the team: 'We're going to work and play as hard as we possibly can and see if we can't win the next two games and see what happens,'" Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "There's no feeling sorry for ourselves."

The Giants still control their own destiny. With wins in their last two games, they will seal a playoff berth.








  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 7 7 0 22 36
    NY GIANTS 7 3 3 9 22 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NYG - TD, TIKI BARBER 11 YD RUN (JAY FEELY
    KICK), 2:26. Drive: 2 plays, 21
    yards in 0:31. Key plays: Morton
    38-yard punt return to Philadelphia
    21. NY GIANTS 7-0
    PHI - TD, CORRELL BUCKHALTER

    Dec 17 7:21 PM


  • NFL
    TD PHI
    TRENT COLE 19 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN
    (DAVID AKERS KICK)
    PHILADELPHIA 36
    NY GIANTS 22 2:47 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Eagles vs. GiantsDec 17 7:09 PM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 8 roots

    Eagles vs. GiantsDec 17 7:09 PM


  • NFL
    TD NYG
    BRANDON JACOBS 1 YD RUN
    (TWO-POINT RUN CONVERSION FAILED)
    PHILADELPHIA 21
    NY GIANTS 22 6:59 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Eagles vs. GiantsDec 17 6:57 PM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 8 roots

    Eagles vs. GiantsDec 17 6:57 PM


  • NFL
    PHILADELPHIA 21
    NY GIANTS 16 12:29 LEFT, 4TH QTR
    NYG BALL ON NYG 23 YD LINE
    1ST AND 10

    Eagles vs. GiantsDec 17 6:40 PM


  • NFL
    FG NYG
    JAY FEELY 24 YD
    PHILADELPHIA 14
    NY GIANTS 16 14:08 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Eagles vs. GiantsDec 17 6:27 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 7 7 0 14
    NY GIANTS 7 3 3 13 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NYG - TD, TIKI BARBER 11 YD RUN (JAY FEELY
    KICK), 2:26. Drive: 2 plays, 21
    yards in 0:31. Key plays: Morton
    38-yard punt return to Philadelphia
    21. NY GIANTS 7-0
    PHI - TD, CORRELL BUCK

    Dec 17 6:22 PM


  • NFL
    FG NYG
    JAY FEELY 23 YD
    PHILADELPHIA 14
    NY GIANTS 13 1:10 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Eagles vs. GiantsDec 17 6:11 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 7 7 14
    NY GIANTS 7 3 10 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NYG - TD, TIKI BARBER 11 YD RUN (JAY FEELY
    KICK), 2:26. Drive: 2 plays, 21
    yards in 0:31. Key plays: Morton
    38-yard punt return to Philadelphia
    21. NY GIANTS 7-0
    PHI - TD, CORRELL BUCKHALT

    Dec 17 5:36 PM


  • NFL
    FG NYG
    JAY FEELY 47 YD
    PHILADELPHIA 14
    NY GIANTS 10 0:03 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Eagles vs. GiantsDec 17 5:34 PM


  • NFL
    TD PHI
    BRIAN WESTBROOK 1 YD RUN
    (DAVID AKERS KICK)
    PHILADELPHIA 14
    NY GIANTS 7 1:02 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Eagles vs. GiantsDec 17 5:24 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 7 7
    NY GIANTS 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NYG - TD, TIKI BARBER 11 YD RUN (JAY FEELY
    KICK), 2:26. Drive: 2 plays, 21
    yards in 0:31. Key plays: Morton
    38-yard punt return to Philadelphia
    21. NY GIANTS 7-0
    PHI - TD, CORRELL BUCK

    Dec 17 4:43 PM


  • NFL
    TD PHI
    CORRELL BUCKHALTER 2 YD RUN
    (DAVID AKERS KICK)
    PHILADELPHIA 7
    NY GIANTS 7 6:18 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Eagles vs. GiantsDec 17 4:33 PM


  • NFL
    TD NYG
    TIKI BARBER 11 YD RUN
    (JAY FEELY KICK)
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    NY GIANTS 7 12:34 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Eagles vs. GiantsDec 17 4:22 PM