The Carolina Panthers passing game struggled to hit the big play that has become a staple for this offense against the Seattle Seahawks but tight end Greg Olsen helped keep this offense moving and made key catches in the second half to help secure the victory.
Olsen finished the game with six receptions for 77 yards, including a touchdown in the second quarter that at the time didn't seem as valuable as it did at the end of the game. The 19-yard touchdown catch with 6:26 left in the second quarter extended their lead to 31-0 and would be the last points the Panthers' score against the Seahawks. It also was the deciding factor in the outcome of the game as the final score was 31-24.
This would be the second time Olsen had the game winning touchdown against the Seahawks as he caught the game-winner against them back in Week 6, although that score came in the final two minutes of the game. In the first matchup of these two teams, Olsen had 7 receptions for 131 receiving yards and one touchdown.
In the second half, with the offense struggling Olsen only had three receptions for 21 yards. The Panthers' time was limited in the second half as he suffered a shoulder injury and was listed as questionable to return.
He was able to return and the last reception was one of the key plays to secure a Panthers' victory.
The play was on their final drive at the 5:16 mark in the fourth quarter as the Panthers faced a 2nd and 7 from their own 34-yard line. Cam Newton took the snap and looked left to find Olsen along the sideline who was able to make the reception, found the first down marker and dove for the first down.
This play allowed the Panthers to burn off almost two and half minutes and limited the Seahawks' time to make a comeback. Olsen earned his second consecutive Pro Bowl appearance and continues to show why he is one of the top tight ends in the game today.