INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- Kerry Collins completed 23 of 29 passes for 366 yards and a career-high four touchdowns Sunday to outduel Pro Bowl quarterback Peyton Manning and give the New York Giants control of their playoff destiny with a 44-27 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
Thanks to Cincinnati's upset of New Orleans, the Giants (9-6) moved into a tie with the Saints for the second wild card berth from the NFC. And New York owns the tiebreak advantage over New Orleans thanks to a better record against common opponents.
So if New York can win next weekend, the Giants will make the playoffs. The problem, however, is that New York must host division champion Philadelphia, which will be playing for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. New Orleans has a home game against Carolina.
Amani Toomer set career highs with 10 catches for 204 yards and matched a career best with three touchdowns and tight end Jeremy Shockey, the only rookie to be selected to the Pro Bowl, added seven receptions for a season-high 116 yards.
"Everyone seemed to bury us a long time ago, but with the outcome of the New Orleans-Cincinnati game, now we control our own destiny," said Giants coach Jim Fassel. "That's one thing about this league, don't count yourself in or out."
The loss cost the Colts (9-6) a chance to win the AFC South, but they can still earn a wild card spot with a victory next Sunday against Jacksonville.
"You give up two 100-plus receivers and long touchdown passes, we really didn't stop them at all in the second half," Colts Coach Tony Dungy said. "You certainly don't want that to happen in a game like this. We'll make our corrections and come out and play much better next week."
Manning became the first quarterback in NFL history to surpass 4,000 passing yards four straight seasons, throwing for 365 yards and three touchdowns. But he was intercepted twice. All of Manning's touchdown passes came in the fourth quarter after the Giants built a 30-6 lead.
"Certainly, this is disappointing because it's a missed opportunity, but the situation is the way it is," said Manning, who completed 30 of 46.
Indianapolis receiver Marvin Harrison had a typical game for him this season, catching 10 passes for 128 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown. Harrison, who last week broke Herman Moore's single-season record for catches (123), increased his total to 137 for the year.
But the day belonged to Toomer, who caught a career-long 82-yard touchdown pass along with scoring tosses of 21 and 27 yards.
The 44 points were the most for the Giants in seven years.
Collins made it look easy, especially in the third quarter when he directed three touchdown drives and completed six passes for 153 yards. They included the 82-yard bomb to Toomer on a flea-flicker and an 18-yard touchdown down the left sideline to fullback Charles Stackhouse.
In the fourth quarter, Collins was four of four for 70 yards, connecting with Toomer twice on touchdowns of 21 and 27 yards.
Tiki Barber, who leads the NFC in yards from scrimmage but was selected as just a Pro Bowl alternate, rushed for touchdowns of four and one yard for New York.
"We were confident coming in to this game," said Barber, who was held to 60 yards on 18 carries. "Now our destiny is back in our hands. That is all you can hope for in December."
Meanwhile, the Giants stuffed Edgerrin James, who had 13 yards on 10 carries.
"If you can stop the run, there's not much reason to bite on play action and the Giants did a good job stopping the run and putting us in passing situations," Manning said. "We feel we're always at our best when we are two-dimensional. But that's a credit to them for making us one-dimensional."
The Colts managed just two field goals through the first three quarters. After leading just two scoring drives in 10 possessions -- one coming after the Colts recovered a fumble by Barber at the New York six -- Manning hit Reggie Wayne with touchdown passes of 21 and 40 yards and connected with Harrison on a 25-yard scoring play in the fourth.
Indianapolis rallied from a 25-point deficit to pull within 37-27 after Manning threw two touchdowns in a seven-second span. He hit Harrison in the end zone with 4:51 left and then connected with Wayne on a 40-yard score with 4:44 remaining followed a muffed kickoff by Delvin Joyce.