CHARLOTTE – Six receptions for 59 yards is far from tight end Greg Olsen's best performance of the season.
Yet a 17-yard catch in the second quarter was more than enough to set an NFL record.
"It was an easy one," Olsen said. "Sometimes, some of them are very hard. Some catches you really have to earn, but that one was pretty easy."
That simple catch against the Falcons made Olsen the NFL first tight end to record three consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons.
"When you guys told me Thursday about what he was potentially up to do, I didn't know that," quarterback Cam Newton said. "That's a big deal. That's Hall of Fame caliber stuff."
As easy as the catch might have been, it didn't necessarily come easily. Olsen left Washington on Monday still needing eight yards for 1,000 in part because he sustained an elbow injury that kept him off the field late.
That injury lingered Saturday. A player known for not taking a break unless his offense is off the field, Olsen was forced to rotate with fellow tight ends Ed Dickson and Chris Manhertz, who recorded his first career reception against the Falcons.
"This record I feel like encompassed a lot of things that I've built my career on," Olsen said. "Consistency. Reliability. Durability. Playing every down. Playing every game. I think a lot of those factors come together to be consistently productive, and that's been my entire goal my whole career: to not be an up-and-down flash in the pan, but just do things right and do things well time and time and time again. I felt this was an example of that."
Olsen takes more pride in a victory than his statistics, but this accolade has been a personal goal for him.
"I was asked about it in preseason at training camp," Olsen said. "I said, 'Damn right, I want to do it.' That's something that I set out and took a lot of pride in trying to accomplish. I'm not a huge stat guy. You guys know me by now, but I'd be lying if I said that this wasn't something that I wanted to accomplish."
It's an accomplishment his head coach was happy to witness on his watch.
"That's cool," head coach Ron Rivera said. "Good for Greg. He has been nothing but a great warrior for us on this football team."
Said Olsen: "It's a moment that I'll remember forever."