This counts as being humble ... right?
Terrell Owens ran into Jerry Rice at the airport Tuesday night -- and ADMITTED that #80 is the greatest wide receiver of all time ... even better than #81.
Hey, it's obvious to most people ... but hearing it come from T.O.'s own mouth is a big deal from a guy who once proclaimed, "I love me some me!"
During the encounter, Owens said ... "I know I'm great. But, I've always said there's only one person better than me at the pigskin and guess who that guy is?!"
Owens added, "You heard it here from the horse's mouth. He's #1. I'm always gonna be 1A, Anybody else they can be #2."
Both guys had pretty solid NFL careers -- Owens ended up with more than 1,000 receptions, 15,934 yards and 153 TDs.
Rice had 1,549 career catches, 22,895 yards and 197 TDs.
Both ended up in the Hall of Fame ... but yeah, Owens is right -- Rice is G.O.A.T.