Winter 2022

Giants WR Isaiah Hodgins shines in playoff debut, plays to honor God

Isaiah Hodgins has caught more than five passes and finished with more than 50 receiving yards in a game only twice in his young NFL career. On both occasions, the opponent was the Minnesota Vikings.

The New York Giants wideout hauled in eight passes for 89 yards and a touchdown when the teams met in Week 16. He was even better in Sunday’s rematch in the wild-card round of the playoffs, making another eight receptions for a career-high 105 yards.

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His 14-yard touchdown near the end of the first quarter gave the Giants their first lead of the game at 14-7. They did not trail again and secured a 31-24 upset, the franchise’s first playoff win since beating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5, 2012.

“It just means a lot, man,” Hodgins said after the game. “First playoff game, to be able to go out there with my brothers and just execute like we did. Hard fought, four-quarter game, and we fought all the way to the end.”

He also tweeted after the game that he was grateful to God.

“God brought me a long way man,” he wrote. “Without him I wouldn’t even be playing today. Thankful to be apart of this team.”

The third-year pro is not shy about sharing his faith on social media. He says he’s “God fearing” in his Twitter bio, and in his Instagram bio he has the words “For Gods glory not mine” and Pslam 23 listed.

Hodgins — whose father, James, played in two Super Bowls with the St. Louis Rams — was selected in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills following a three-year college career at Oregon State. He missed his entire rookie year due to injury and began the 2021 season on the Bills’ practice squad. Elevated to the active roster for Week 16, Hodgins made his NFL debut but did not catch a pass in his only appearance of the season.

Buffalo kept Hodgins on the practice squad through the first four weeks this season. He caught four passes in his season debut in Week 5 and got on the field one more time for the Bills before the Giants claimed him off waivers Nov. 2.

Hodgins quickly became an important piece of New York’s passing game, catching 33 passes for 351 yards and four touchdowns in eight games. He was rested along with other starters in Week 18.

In a recent interview with Go Long, Hodgins discussed his unlikely path to the Giants and his desire to honor God by making the most of his opportunity.

“I would definitely credit my father and my upbringing,” he said. “Both of my parents did a great job of making sure I stayed dedicated to things that I love and honoring God with it. But most importantly: never quitting. My dad played in the NFL so I got to see him and some of the stuff he went through and hear a lot of his stories.”

Hodgins wasn’t planning to be a Giant, and the Giants weren’t expecting to rely so much on him, but he always knew God was in control.

“I leaned on my support system: my wife, my family, God,” he told Go Long. “A lot of prayer and a lot of trust just knowing He was going to guide me and take me where He wanted me.”

After knocking off the No. 3-seeded Vikings, the No. 6-seeded Giants will face their division rival, the top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles, in the divisional round at 8:15 p.m. ET Saturday.

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