Best Nfl Players Ever

Homer Jones

The 89-yard touchdown bomb that Homer Jones caught for his very first NFL touchdown doubled as the NFL’s very first spike. Jones wanted to do something special for his first score, like throw the ball into the stands. But since he didn’t want to have to pay the fine that would result, he improvised. As he crossed the goal line, he flung the ball down behind himself, although with far less force than he would on future spikes. The unknown speedster had made a name for himself twice in one play.

Jones was a 20th-round pick out of Texas Southern in 1963, but he signed with the AFL’s Oilers instead. Houston cut him in training camp because he had a knee injury. The Giants then brought him to New York, helped him rehab his knee, and assigned him to the taxi squad, where he spent two seasons. Jones was 6’2″ and 220 pounds and could run the 100 in 9.3 seconds. He had enormous hands, but had trouble catching the ball he dropped nine balls in a row in the pre-game warmup on this momentous day and was originally known as “Question Mark.” That nickname quickly changed to “Rhino” when he became a starter because his hard-charging style was about power, not elusiveness.

Jones was known for taking some plays off and was unpredictable as a route runner, but he was an amiable player who got along well with his teammates. The fly pattern was his favorite, and he was an unstoppable deep threat. He caught the longest pass in Giants history, 98 yards, from Morrall in 1966, during a game in which he also caught a 75-yard score. In another game, he caught touchdowns of 74 and 72 yards. Fran Tarkenton once said that throwing to Jones was like “throwing to a man riding a motorcycle

Receiver Homer Jones punctuated his 89-yard touchdown pass in 1965 with the first spike in NFL history. holding a butterfly net.” No passer could overthrow him.

The Giants traded the mercurial Jones to the Browns for runner Ron Johnson in 1970. New York won that deal when knee problems ended Homer’s career after one season in Cleveland. When Jones retired, he was third in Giants history in receiving yards and first in NFL history in yards per catch, at 22.3.

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Sadly, no Giants wide receiver has been to the Pro Bowl since Jones went in 1967 and 1968. Although he never caught more than 49 passes in a year, he went over 1,000 yards receiving in three different seasons, and he led the NFL with 13 touchdowns in 1967; roughly one of every six passes he caught as a Giant went for six points.

After the Giants’ 1950 revival, the team came into the 1951 season with high hopes of upending Cleveland in the East. New York began the season by tying the Steelers and beating the Redskins, while Cleveland lost their first game to the 49ers before rebounding to beat the Rams in Week 2. The lowly Cardinals offered the Giants a great opportunity to open their home schedule with a win on this October day.

All-Pro defensive tackle Arnie Weinmeister got New York off to a great start when he recovered a Don Paul fumble at the Cardinals’ 13-yard line in the first quarter. Four plays later, Eddie Price punched in the touchdown from the 1 to give the Giants the lead. The Cardinals got that score back in the second period when they capped a seven-play, 65-yard drive with a 34-yard touchdown strike from Frank Tripucka to Don Paul. Four minutes later, a Giants fumble led to a Cardinals field goal and a 10-7 lead.

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