PHILADELPHIA -- Written off last month, the resurgent Philadelphia Eagles are making a strong playoff push.
Donovan McNabb threw for 290 yards and two touchdowns, Asante Samuel scored on an interception return and the Eagles beat the struggling Cleveland Browns 30-10 on Monday night for their third consecutive victory.
Philadelphia (8-5-1) remained a half-game behind three teams in the race for the two NFC wild-card spots. The Eagles have to win their final two games -- at Washington and home against Dallas -- and need Atlanta or Tampa Bay to lose once to secure a playoff berth.
"We put everything together and we're playing some pretty good ball right now," said safety Brian Dawkins, who set a team record by playing his 181st game with the Eagles. "We are a very, very confident group and we're looking forward to this next game."
The Browns (4-10) have lost four in a row. At least they finally scored a touchdown on Brandon McDonald's 24-yard interception return in the fourth quarter. The Browns, who didn't reach the end zone in the previous three games, could be looking for a new coach to replace Romeo Crennel after the season.
"Our guys tried but I don't think we have enough ammunition to match up with them," Crennel said. "We fought in there defensively. We gave up some yards and got some turnovers. We were ineffective running the ball."
Just three weeks ago, the Eagles were in shambles. People were calling for coach Andy Reid to be fired and McNabb's days in Philadelphia seemed numbered after he was benched for the first time in his career at halftime of a 36-7 loss at Baltimore.
But the Eagles answered with impressive wins over the playoff-bound Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants. They easily handled the Browns, despite squandering several opportunities.
"I don't go back to the benching because I personally don't agree with the benching," McNabb said. "I tried not to let it affect me. I don't I have to prove anything. In my 10-year career, my body of work speaks for itself."
The Eagles reached the red zone on all seven possessions with McNabb under center, but managed just two touchdowns and three field goals. They had a 17-3 lead at halftime that likely would've been bigger if it weren't for two interceptions in the end zone.
McDonald then intercepted McNabb's pass on the final play of the first half and ran it back 98 yards to the Eagles 7. McDonald was chased by Brian Westbrook and finally caught from behind by Hank Baskett, who was the intended receiver on the play.
"I made two mistakes that cost us pretty good," Dorsey said. "I can't put the defense in that spot."
Since his benching, McNabb has played like the guy who went to five Pro Bowls and led the Eagles to four consecutive NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl. He has completed 72 of 104 passes for 741 yards, seven TDs and one interception in the last three games. His passer rating is 107.9 in those games.
"He's playing confident, he's being aggressive with the ball and he's managing the game very well," Reid said.
McNabb came out firing, completing all four of his passes on the opening possession, including a 14-yard strike to Kevin Curtis that gave the Eagles a 7-0 lead. A 20-yard completion to Avant on third-and-5 kept the drive going.
In the second quarter, Samuel stepped in front of Dorsey's pass intended for Donte' Stallworth and raced 50 yards for a touchdown to make it 17-3. It appeared Samuel tossed the ball aside at the 1 just like Jackson did against the Dallas Cowboys in a Monday night game in Week 2. But Samuel quickly picked the ball up in the end zone. The Browns didn't challenge, but it wouldn't have mattered.
It was the first touchdown this season for Samuel, who signed a $57.14 million, six-year free-agent contract in March.
"It was definitely overdue," Samuel said. "I dropped a couple. It was time to finally get one."
McNabb connected with Greg Lewis for a 10-yard TD pass that made it 30-3 in the fourth quarter.
- Dawkins passed wide receiver Harold Carmichael on the team's career games list.
- Philadelphia improved to 10-2 in December since 2006.
- Cleveland's Phil Dawson kicked his 30th field goal, setting a single-season franchise record.
- The Browns used three different starting QBs for their three Monday night games, going 2-1.
- Cleveland has lost 10 or more games seven times since 1999.
- TE Kellen Winslow (ankle) and RB Jerome Harrison (ribs) sat out for the Browns.