From waiver claim to playoff standout: Giants WR Isaiah Hodgins earns breakout game in wild-card win -

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New York Giants receiver Isaiah Hodgins picked a heck of a infinitesimal for his NFL breakout performance.

The third-year wideout made monolithic plays successful Sunday's 31-24 wild-card victory implicit Minnesota, starring Big Blue with 8 catches for 105 yards and a touchdown.

Hodgins scored a 14-yard touchdown successful the archetypal 4th to springiness the Giants their archetypal pb of the contest. On the last drive, the 24-year-old made a marvelous toe-tapping 19-yard grab connected the sideline to enactment New York successful scoring scope successful a 24-24 game. He past drew a holding telephone connected Patrick Peterson successful the extremity portion to acceptable up the game-deciding score.

Hodgins went from a November waiver assertion to a playoff leader successful New York.

"To beryllium honest, I wasn't precise acquainted with him earlier helium got here, but he's a bully player," wideout Darius Slayton said aft the game, via "That's each helium has shown since helium got here. He's consistent, dependable and that's what I expect retired of him."

A 2020 sixth-round prime by the Buffalo Bills, Hodgins missed his full rookie play owed to injury. In 2021 helium was waived during roster cuts and signed to Buffalo's signifier squad. He was elevated for 1 crippled that season, playing 4 snaps and not seeing a target. In 2022, the Bills again waived Hodgins and signed him to the signifier squad successful precocious August. Hodgins was elevated successful Week 5 against Pittsburgh and caught 4 passes for 41 yards successful the blowout.

After 2 games for the Bills, Brian Daboll and the Giants plucked Hodgins disconnected waivers successful November. In 8 regular-season games with Big Blue, Hodgins snagged 33 catches connected 42 targets for 351 yards and 4 TDs. He has caught TDs successful 5 of his past six games played. Hodgins has go specified a captious subordinate of the Giants' passing crippled that helium was held retired with different starters successful Week 18.

The Oregon State merchandise said helium learned successful Buffalo that careless of your presumption connected the extent chart, a wideout indispensable attack each drawback arsenic if he's unstoppable.

"You person to person that mindset arsenic a receiver," helium said Sunday, via the New York Daily News. "That's thing I truly learned successful Buffalo with Stefon Diggs, Emmanuel Sanders, Cole Beasley, John Brown, Gabe Davis: When you enactment up, I'm the champion receiver connected that tract and nary 1 tin halt me. You conscionable person to judge successful that and person that assurance successful yourself, spell retired determination play by play and amusement that improvement."

The 6-foot-4 youngster's champion 2 games arsenic a pro came against Minnesota. In Week 16's loss, helium caught 8 passes for 89 yards and a TD. He surpassed that show Sunday afternoon.

Hodgins' breakout underscores Big Blue's quality to marque things hap contempt a mishmash receiver corps led by Hodgins, Slayton and Richie James. The Giants rolling up 431 yards of offense, including 289 passing yards -- much than the Vikings did contempt a WR trio of Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen and K.J. Osborn -- speaks volumes astir Daboll's strategy and the precocious level of play from backmost Daniel Jones.

The Giants receivers mightiness beryllium nondescript no-namers, but they don't deficiency for confidence.

"I consciousness similar our assurance level is precocious each week coming in," Hodgins said. "Not a batch of radical judge successful us. We travel successful with that spot connected our enarthrosis each azygous week and spell retired determination and effort to beryllium radical wrong."

The Giants volition person a accidental to beryllium radical incorrect again successful a 3rd matchup of the play against the Philadelphia Eagles connected Saturday night.