NFL Alternate Uniforms Are Back in a Big Way in 2022
You look good, you play good. You play good, they pay good.
I am an absolute sucker for a good alternate uniform. When I play Madden, I always find a reason to throw teams into throwbacks, alternate unis, or put something new together entirely.
In 2018, when the NFL started their Color Rush campaign, seeking to eschew their "No-Fun-League" reputation, I was completely behind it. I still prefer a lot of the color rush uniforms to most teams normal kit.
Last year, a rule change in the NFL flew slightly under the radar, unnoticed behind the excitement of stadiums re-opening to fans, and things somewhat returning to normal.
This rule was one born of the No-Fun-League era experienced in the early 2010s. The rule was that each team could only have one helmet design. It crippled any idea of alternate or throwback uniforms for most teams.
But ding dong, that witch is dead.
And fans are already reaping the benefits.
So far, seven teams have announced alternate helmets, half of those with fully new or re-released uniforms.
Let's take a look.
La Fleur de Lis Noire
Saints fans have probably already seen the Saints' new helmet, black with a stripe made of tiny fleur de lis. The response has been mostly positive, with a few critiques on certain details, like the size of the main fleur de lis, and the shape of the stripe.
The photoshoot the Saints did with the helmet were over the team's all white color rush jerseys, which admittedly did not spark joy in me. But assuming they wear these helmets over black jerseys and pants, they may be one of the best alternate helmets in the league, but they probably wouldn't look good over gold.
Staying in the division, the Carolina Panthers also dropped a new helmet for the season. It is also black, and assumed to be worn in a sort out "blackout" look for the squad.
It's design details are far simpler than the Saints' example. Personally, it seems like the Panther logo is a bit hard to see, but that's probably the point.
It's certainly a menacing look.
Dirty Birds Go Back In Time
The NFC South is going to be very stylish this year, as another team also is bringing out an alternate helmet.
The Falcons are going retro rather than stealth, however. Their buckets are, no joke, "Coca-Cola Red", and feature gold, white, and black stripes. The all-matte look invokes old school football in the best way.
They may go 5-12, but they'll look real good doing it.
Seeing Red in Houston
The Texans need a good season. Will their new red helmets help with that? Probably not, but they look great.
Houston is calling these their "Battle Ready" helmets. The only real difference from their usual hat is that this one is red under the logo, but the glossy look really pops and should look good with any of their uniform permutations.
Going back to stealth mode, the New York Jets also have released a black helmet that they will wear with their all-black uniform.
The helmet features a green Jets logo with a white outline against a matte black base, with a deep metallic green facemask. This might be one of my favorite new alternates.
Patriots Respect Their History
Pat Patriot is back, ladies and gentlemen. New England is bringing back the red jerseys with the white helmet and the famous Pat Patriot logo. The all-white helmets feature a triple stripe of red and blue and the famous logo, all in a classic matte finish.
A work of art straight from the pages of football history.
Of note is the Patriots' Back to the Future themed release video for the unis. Easily the best uniform drop video this offseason, and it probably won't be beat.
The Eagles have brought back the Kelly green uniform.
According to Eagles owner Jeffery Lurie, this has been "what we've wanted" and they plan to make the uniform "as identical to what that existed as possible."
This uniform is iconic for those who remember the Randall Cunningham and Reggie White Eagles, and the Birds are looking forward to bringing it back to the field in the coming years.
As this announcement comes without an official example of what the uniform will look like, we can only assume that if they do what they claim and make the uniform identical, it will be the beautiful shade of green with white wings on either side of the helmet, and a white facemask.
This is the throwback I am most excited to see.
With the one-helmet rule finally dead, many alternate uniform ideas that were once pipe dreams, are now very possible.
The NFL is getting more stylish by the day, and that's a good thing.
Look good, play good, remember?