Olsen re-emerges as impact player

January, 16, 2011
1/16/11
5:46
PM ET
[+] EnlargeGreg Olsen
Mike DiNovo/US PresswireGreg Olsen got the Bears out to an early lead with a 58-yard touchdown catch on their third play from scrimmage.
CHICAGO -- From a statistical standpoint (41 catches for 404 yards and five touchdowns), the 2010 regular season was Greg Olsen's worst since his rookie year.

But those numbers mean nothing in the postseason.

Olsen played arguably the best game of his NFL life on Sunday. He finished with a career-high 113 yards receiving yards -- the third-highest single-game total in Bears history -- and caught a 58-yard touchdown on the third play of the Bears' first possession.

"They came out in man coverage," Olsen said. "We thought we had a shot -- it was third and short. Lawyer Milloy was up in coverage, good player, but we were able to get down the field and Jay [Cutler] was able to hold it so that it gave us a chance. He was able to hold it, I was able to get behind [Milloy], and he put the ball where you've got to make that play. [Cutler] put the ball in the perfect spot, and we were able to score."

"Greg gives us a good matchup most of the time," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "Going to him on the first big third down, he's tough to cover, whether it's a safety or a linebacker. Greg has good skills as far as his speed and being able to get down the field.

You can add this to the list of things that went horribly awry for the Bears in the loss to Seattle on Oct. 17: Olsen had zero catches on three targets. Luckily for the Bears -- just like with Matt Forte in the run game -- offensive coordinator Mike Martz was able to correct those mistakes in the playoff rematch.

"It was nice to have a big day," Olsen said. "It was nice to be that big a part of the offense in the passing game. I'm not going to lie, it did feel good to get off to a fast start and have a couple of big plays later in the game. There's no question it was a good feeling."

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.

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