The season was on the line with the San Francisco 49ers looming and the team desperately needed a spark in the third quarter.
They got that by way of rookie wide receiver Jalin Hyatt, who, on the very first play of the second half, used his elite speed to create separation and hauled in a 58-yard strike off the arm of quarterback Daniel Jones.
Daniel Jones DEEP to Jalin Hyatt! pic.twitter.com/9QBDojPprK
— Bobby Skinner (@BobbySkinner_) September 17, 2023
For Hyatt, it was his first NFL reception and one the team desperately needed. It’s also one he asked for as the Giants broke the huddle.
“I told DJ right before we broke out after the huddle, I said, ‘Throw it,’ I said, ‘Just throw it.’ And he trusted me, he threw it,” Hyatt told reporters after the game.
Hyatt wished he would have scored but it was still the spark the Giants needed. And perhaps even more impressive was that the rookie was able to hang onto the football while a Cardinals defender tried to knock it loose from behind on Hyatt’s blindside.
It also wasn’t the biggest catch Hyatt would have on the night. That came late in the fourth quarter when the rookie went up and high-pointed a pass from Jones, bringing it down for a huge first down.
Dart outside the numbers from Daniel Jones to rookie Jalin Hyatt pic.twitter.com/RG7R30XWr4
— Nick Falato (@nickfalato) September 18, 2023
“DJ always standing in my corner saying ‘we’re going to get the ball to you, we’re going to get the ball to you.’ That’s what he did and I think that just goes back to our leadership,” Hyatt said.
Without Hyatt, who had two huge receptions for 89 yards, the Giants would not have completed their biggest comeback in nearly 80 years. Instead, they’d likely be 0-2 and facing a lost season.