Whenever a player manages to put together a dynamic performance, it tends to put people on notice. That’s exactly what Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk did during the team’s 30-27 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 10.
By the end of Kirk’s performance, he recorded six catches and racked up 138 yards and three touchdowns. After the game, Kirk made it clear that he was ‘hitting my stride’ before he was sidelined for three games due to injury. While he had a great individual display, he says it’s ‘frustrating’ to have not been on the field during a win yet.
“After that big game in Baltimore, I felt like I was hitting my stride, and then the injury came,” Kirk said, via the team’s official website. “That was the most frustrating part. To get back out here post-injury and have a good game, and just contribute to try to help this team win. The most frustrating part is I haven’t been on the field for a win yet.”
The contributions that Kirk has brought to the Cardinals this season is already comparable to what he provided as a rookie in 2018 but in five fewer games. He has totaled 467 receiving yards and three receiving yards on 40 receptions in seven games so far this season. During his rookie campaign, he ended with 590 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns on 43 receptions.
The potential that Kirk has shown when he has been on the field has caught the attention of head coach Kliff Kingsbury. He called Kirk ‘a dynamic player’ and that he is both an ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ receiving threat.
“He’s a dynamic player,” Kingsbury said. “Inside, outside (receiver). Works his tail off. Doesn’t come off the field. When you work that hard, good things happen to you on Sundays.”
The duo of Kyler Murray and Kirk managed to make history during the young receiver’s three-touchdown performance. They became the first pair of teammates below the age of 23-years-old to connect on at least three touchdowns since Nov. 11, 1962, when Frank Tarkenton and Charley Ferguson accomplished that feat.
Murray was asked about Kirk’s performance after their loss to the Buccaneers and called him ‘special.’ Both players have a strong respect for one another and it shows through the trust that Murray displays in Kirk when making his passing decisions.
“Christian is special,” Murray said. “I know that. We all know that.”
With a promising young quarterback and receiver duo, the future for Arizona’s offense is bright. How the team manages to surround them with talent will be a significant factor in their ability to overtake the tough competitors that they face in the NFC West.