In a season in which nearly everything has gone wrong for the 2-7 Carolina Panthers, at least something has gone right:
Greg Olsen is on target to set Carolina's single-season record for tight end receptions and receiving yards.
Olsen's productivity this year is exactly what the Panthers were expecting after trading a third-round draft pick to the Chicago Bears for the reliable tight end before the 2011 season. The sixth-year veteran is having the best season of his career and may replace beloved Panther Wesley Walls as the best tight end in Carolina history.
The Stats…and the Records
Through nine games Greg Olsen has 43 receptions for 497 yards and three touchdowns.
Olsen is on pace to finish the season with 76 receptions and 883 yards, both of which would set single-season records for the Carolina Panthers.
Wesley Walls set the all-time receiving records for Panthers tight ends in 1999 with 63 receptions for 822 yards.
This is also shaping up to be the best season of Olsen's career, surpassing his 60-reception, 612-yard 2009 season with the Chicago Bears.
Coming Up Huge in Week 10
In Week 10 the Panthers lost 36-14 to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, but despite the loss Olsen came up with the best game of his career.
Olsen's line of 9-102-2 was the first 100-yard game of his career. His nine receptions also were also the most in his career.
While the Panthers offense could do very little right against the Broncos, Olsen was consistently finding openings and coming up with big gains. Carolina's next best receiver on the day was running back Mike Tolbert with a mere 34 yards, 26 of which came on a single screen pass.
The Panthers' disappointing loss against the Broncos in an overall frustrating year will take some of the luster off Olsen's big day, but his play shows just how valuable he can be when Carolina's offense is struggling to move the ball.
Great Matchups to Come
In the Panthers' seven remaining games Olsen will face the league's two worst teams against the pass - the Tampa Bay Buccaneer s (321 Passing YPG) and New Orleans Saints (307 PYPG). Olsen had a strong Week 1 game against the Bucs (6 receptions, 56 yards) but struggled in Week 2 against the Saints (1 reception, 13 yards.)
The Panthers will face three additional teams in the bottom half of the league in pass defense - Oakland Raiders (256 PYPG), Atlanta Falcons (236 PYPG), and the San Diego Chargers (234 PYPG).
Greg Olsen is on pace to have the best season of his career and the most productive year of any Carolina Panther tight end in the franchise's history.
At least the Panthers have something to celebrate this year.
Andrew Sweat is a die-hard Panthers fan. For more from this author, visit Andrew's archive or check out these articles:
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