EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – 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 third straight victory for the Eagles (8-6) and left them in control of their playoff destiny. If they beat Dallas (9-5) at home next week and Atlanta on the road 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.

Tiki Barber scored on an 11-yard run, Jay Feely kicked three field goals and Brandon Jacobs scored from 1 yard 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.

Garcia seemingly was going to be the goat by drawing a taunting penalty after a 10-yard run to the Giants 22 with 10:13 left and the Eagles ahead 21-16.

Two plays later, Will Demps intercepted a deep pass at the 12 and returned it to the 41, where he lateraled to R.W. McQuarters, who brought the ball to the Eagles 35. A questionable pass interference penalty against Brown gave New York a first down at the 2 and Jacobs scored.

Trailing 14-10 at the half, the Giants took a 16-14 lead on field goals 23 and 24 yards by Feely, the second coming after Demps sacked Garcia, who fumbled.

Philadelphia came right back. A 64-yard kickoff return by Reno Mahe set up Westbrook’s 28-yard run for a 21-16 lead.

The Eagles controlled the ball for more than 18 minutes and forced two turnovers in taking a 14-10 lead. But New York actually led 7-0 on Barber’s 11-yard run.

Garcia drove Philadelphia 80 yards in 12 plays and Buckhalter scored from the 2 through a huge hole up the middle. Brian Dawkins, who forced two fumbles and intercepted a pass, prevented New York from taking the lead in the second quarter, causing Jacobs’ fumble at the Eagles 30.

On the Giants’ next series, Manning bounced a pass off the helmet of Eagles tackle Mike Patterson and Dawkins intercepted. A 15-yard penalty on Jeremy Shockey at the end of the play gave Philadelphia the ball at the Giants 41. Westbrook scored from inside the 1 on fourth-down for a 14-7 lead.

Feely kicked a 47-yard field goal in the closing seconds of the half.

Notes: Dawkins’ interception was his 31st with the Eagles, fourth in team history and three behind co-leaders Eric Allen and Bill Bradley. … Rich Seubert started at center for Shaun O’Hara, who was out with an ankle injury. Seubert had a mild knee sprain in the fourth quarter … Westbrook has more than 1,000 yards rushing for the first time in his career.

AP-ES-12-17-06 1952EST


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