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Cardinals’ Christian Kirk gaining confidence in rookie season

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk (13) makes a touchdown catch as San Francisco 49ers defensive back Tyvis Powell (30) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk’s rookie season is blossoming and he knows why.

Kirk told Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Monday that he’s finally comfortable in the Cardinals’ offense and isn’t overthinking things.

The second-round pick out of Texas A&M caught the game-winning nine-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Josh Rosen in Sunday’s 18-15 win over the San Francisco 49ers, the Cardinals’ first home win of the season.

“In OTAs I struggled because I was thinking so much,” Kirk said. “I wasn’t comfortable with the system yet. Once all the thinking went away, it was able to all click for me.”

Kirk leads the Cardinals in receiving yards (410), yards per catch (13.2) and touchdowns (2), but most of his production has come in the past four games.

He managed just one game over 30 receiving yards in the opening four games but has exploded for 261 yards and two touchdowns since.

The game-winning touchdown against the 49ers capped a 42-yard performance in the Cardinals’ first game since replacing offensive coordinator Mike McCoy with quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich.

“(The game-winning catch) meant the world,” Kirk said. “It had been built up by so much emotion of this last week of practice with everything that has happened and the outside noise.

“The best part of this team is inside this locker room and we block all that out. We are in there together.”

With Larry Fitzgerald eclipsing the 100-yard receiving mark for the first time this season and running back David Johnson reaching 100 total yards against the Niners, the offense looks to be in a better position than weeks prior.

The Cardinals are on their bye week before returning to action the following Sunday on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs.

“There is more diversity in what we were doing (on offense),” Kirk said. “We were putting window dressing on certain things. They are all the same plays, but we worked to make them look different.

“We were able to get David (Johnson) going. Once we were able to get him going, we would be able to get the back end going.”

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