Neil Lomax threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Roy Green with 27 seconds remaining today, rallying St. Louis to a 24-21 victory over the New York Giants that all but ensured a playoff berth for the Cardinals.

The Giants had come back from a 17-7 fourth-quarter deficit to take a 21-17 lead on two touchdown passes from Scott Brunner to John Mistler, the second with 67 seconds left.

But Lomax moved the Cardinals 70 yards, completing three of four passes. A 26-yarder to Green and a 36-yarder to Willard Harrell gave St. Louis a first down at the New York eight. On the next play, Lomax had little pressure from the Giants as he searched for a receiver.

"I was looking at the tight end but they had him covered," Lomax said. "I started running around and I saw that Ottis Anderson was open, but then I saw Roy standing there all alone."

Bill Parcells, the Giants' defensive coordinator, said, "We only rushed three men and we should have rushed four. That guy thought we were playing a certain coverage and we were playing another."

St. Louis, which was 0-3 at home and 4-0 on the road before today, improved to 5-3 and is nearly assured of its first playoff appearance since 1975. The Giants are 3-5 and virtually out of playoff contention.