The Jacksonville Jaguars managed to end a losing streak at the Superdome in Week 7. Wide receiver Christian Kirk had a huge role, turning what was supposed to be a short play into the game-winning touchdown. But if you were watching the broadcast, you wouldn't how big the play was based on Al Michael's narration.
Michaels mistakenly said that Kirk had stopped at the Saints' one-yard line and even went as far as to say that "Kirk thinks he scored the touchdown," despite the fact that he and other players were celebrating. Michaels then said that the officiating crew called it a touchdown, but by then, the excitement had faded. Here's Al Michael calling the touchdown in case you missed it.
Before his 44-yard touchdown reception, Kirk had caught a solid five receptions for 46 yards. The offense had started strong, reaching the end zone in their first three drives. However, they went through a cold stretch in the second and third quarters. They only woke up when the Saints tied the game 24-24.
Following the game, Kirk said he hadn't run as hard as he did during the play since college. Trevor Lawrence said after the win that Kirk made it work.
"Christian kind of did all the work there. It's a play that we run, we like it out empty and it's a good matchup typically for us, with Christian," Lawrence said. "Reading the top down. I gave Evan a look, it was a split safety and the safety attached to Evan. Then, had our one-on-one and Christian ran a great route underneath. Trying to talk to Press [Taylor] for the play, trying to at least get something going, get a completion."
"Kind of how we played the whole game. Especially, with not wanting to hold the ball back there with my knee and not take any hits and all that stuff. I wanted to find a completion and get us going. Worst case, let's get some points. Let's get a field goal. The game was tied at that point. And then, Christian went through it. I thought it was gonna be maybe a 10-yard gain, I knew we had 20 on the angle but he then took it to the house. That was a great play by him," Lawrence said.
WR Christian Kirk is having a Pro Bowl-caliber season for the Jaguars
Christian Kirk, a second-round pick in the 2018 draft, had never posted a 1,000-yard season in his career, and his capability as a No. 1 receiver was called into question when he signed a top-market contract with the Jags last year. Right off the bat, the former Texas A&M Auggie put all doubts to rest by setting career bests for catches (84), yards (1,108) and touchdowns (eight).
Now in his second season with the Jags, Kirk has picked up where he left off in 2022. His 474 receiving yards are a team-best and his 39 catches rank second behind tight end Evan Engram. Even with the arrival of Calvin Ridley, Kirk hasn't missed a beat this season.
If the Jacksonville Jaguars keep winning, and there's a good chance they will, Christian Kirk will get the recognition he deserves around the league. Last year, he made headlines because of the contract he signed. Now, he's doing it because of his play on the field.