Final

Eagles 36

(8-6, 4-3 away)

Giants 22

(7-7, 3-4 home)

Coverage: FOX

4:15 PM ET, December 17, 2006

Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ 

1 2 3 4 T
PHI 7 7 0 2236
NYG 7 3 3 922

Top Performers

Passing: E. Manning (NYG) - 282 YDS, 2 INT

Rushing: B. Westbrook (PHI) - 19 CAR, 97 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: P. Burress (NYG) - 6 REC, 120 YDS

Garcia engineers Eagles' comeback win over Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Jeff Garcia's fiery temper could easily have cost the Eagles the season.

His subsequent play Sunday has Philadelphia somewhere no one expected -- on the verge of a playoff berth and possibly the NFC East title.

Scouts Inc.'s take ...
The real hero of this game was the Eagles defense. Free safety Brian Dawkins, who led the team in tackles and forced two turnovers, keyed a Philadelphia defense that rose to the challenge by holding Tiki Barber and Brandon Jacobs under a 100 yards rushing combined.

The Eagles changed up the defensive front by playing an under-front at times to stop the run. They also ran some zone-dogs that put pressure on Eli Manning and took advantage of a Giants offensive line that was without center Shaun O'Hara. Manning had an inconsistent performance, throwing for nearly 300 yards but tossing two costly interceptions.

QB Jeff Garcia (above) had another good game for the Eagles. He was smart with the football and made the plays when the Eagles needed them. Garcia was able to spread the ball around to eight different receivers, with Reggie Brown and tight end L.J. Smith making some big catches on third-and-long to keep drives going. The Eagles' offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage and Philly ran for over 150 yards.

Minutes after being whistled for a taunting penalty and then throwing an interception to set up New York's go-ahead fourth-quarter score, Garcia threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Brown and a 2-point conversion, lifting the Eagles to a 36-22 win.

"I'm very disappointed in myself for those actions," said Garcia, who was 19-of-28 for 237 yards. "I let some other things get the best of me. Those things were out of character. I'm just glad I'm not up here apologizing for my actions costing us a chance to win."

Defensive end Trent Cole made sure the Eagles stayed in front just 10 seconds after Garcia's big throws by returning an interception 19 yards for a touchdown in the error-plagued game unworthy of two playoff contenders.

The win was the third straight for the Eagles (8-6) and left them in control of their playoff destiny. If they win at Dallas (9-5) next week and over Atlanta at home two weeks later, they take the division.

What has made their run so unusual is the Eagles have found a way to win after losing Donovan McNabb for the season with a knee injury. The 36-year-old Garcia is 3-1 since taking over.

"I think we all internally had a lot of confidence in Jeff," Eagles owner Jeff Lurie said. "It's a team we felt, with our offensive line and our defense coming together and being opportunistic, if you have a high character group that likes to play together, you have a chance."

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.

"You know any team that makes the playoffs deserves to be there," Giants halfback Tiki Barber said. "Right now we are not playing like a playoff-caliber team, especially with the mistakes we made, the turnovers and penalties."

Brian Westbrook scored on runs of 1 and 28 yards and Correll Buckhalter scored on a 2-yard run for Philadelphia.

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. New York led 22-21 after a 2-point conversion run by Barber was stopped.

Garcia, who committed one of the dumbest plays of his eight-year 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 drive with a 9-yard run. Garcia 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 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, a game in which the Eagles blew a 24-7 fourth-quarter lead.

Garcia seemed 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.

"He's a competitive little son of a gun," Eagles coach Andy Reid said of Garcia. "Slamming the ball at the guy's face, you can't do that. I'm glad he still has that much energy at 36 years old. That can be trouble, but he bounced back and came back with a nice series."

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.

Brian Dawkins, who forced two fumbles and intercepted a pass, helped the Eagles take a 14-10 halftime lead. His first forced fumble on Jacobs ended a New York drive in Eagles territory, and his interception on a pass that hit off the helmet of Eagles tackle Mike Patterson set up Westbrook's first touchdown.

Barber's 11-yard run gave New York a 7-0 lead.

Garcia drove Philadelphia 80 yards in 12 plays and Buckhalter scored from the 2 through a huge hole up the middle to tie the game. Westbrook's TD put the Eagles ahead 14-7 before Feely kicked a 47-yard field goal in the closing seconds of the half.

Game 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. ... Eagles S Michael Lewis suffered an MCL sprain.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
PHI
NYG
1st Downs2122
Passing 1st downs
1111
Rushing 1st downs
106
1st downs from penalties
05
3rd down efficiency
4-102-9
4th down efficiency
1-12-2
Total Plays6063
Total Yards382358
Yards per play6.45.7
Total Drives1113
Passing221270
Comp-Att
19-2828-40
Yards per pass
7.46.6
Interceptions thrown
12
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-161-12
Rushing16188
Rushing Attempts
3022
Yards per rush
5.44.0
Red Zone (Made-Att)3-32-5
Penalties12-1035-55
Turnovers24
Fumbles lost
12
Interceptions thrown
12
Defensive / Special Teams TDs10
Possession31:4928:11

Passing Leaders

PHIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Garcia19/282378.5112-16
NYGC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Manning28/402827.1021-12

Rushing Leaders

PHICARYDSAVGTDLG
Westbrook19975.1228
Buckhalter8486.0111
NYGCARYDSAVGTDLG
Barber19753.9114
Jacobs3134.3112

Receiving Leaders

PHIRECYDSAVGTDLG
Brown47719.3128
Smith45413.5027
NYGRECYDSAVGTDLG
Burress612020.0052
Shockey8708.8014

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERPHINYG
nygTD12:43Tiki Barber, 11 yd run (Jay Feely kick is good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 21 yds, 0:31
07
phiTD6:23Correll Buckhalter, 2 yd run (David Akers kick is good)
Drive info: 12 plays, 80 yds, 6:16
77
SECOND QUARTERPHINYG
phiTD1:06Brian Westbrook, 1 yd run (David Akers kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 41 yds, 3:28
147
nygFG0:08Jay Feely 47 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 6 plays, 39 yds, 0:59
1410
THIRD QUARTERPHINYG
nygFG1:13Jay Feely 23 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 5 plays, 57 yds, 1:52
1413
FOURTH QUARTERPHINYG
nygFG14:12Jay Feely 24 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, 1 yds, 1:11
1416
phiTD12:42Brian Westbrook, 28 yd run (David Akers kick is good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 36 yds, 1:32
2116
nygTD7:05Brandon Jacobs, 1 yd run
Drive info: 4 plays, 35 yds, 2:03
2122
phiTD3:10Reggie Brown, 15 yd pass from Jeff Garcia
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yds, 4:02
2722
phiTD2:57Trent Cole, 19 yd interception return (David Akers kick is good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 19 yds, 0:00
3622