Since 2013, the NFL’s throwback uniforms have been tainted. A rule that limited teams to a single helmet style hampered some franchises’ ability to take the field looking like a slice of 1967.
Gone was Pat Patriot and the Broncos’ full Orange Crush kit. Buccaneer Bruce was kept on the bench instead of sailing the high seas of a Tampa Bay Super Bowl season. The Bills could pay homage to their teams of the 1960s thanks to their white helmet base but couldn’t throw it back to the red-helmet days of Marv Levy and four straight AFC championships.
The Packers’ ugly brown helmets… well, OK, that was probably a good idea to scrap those.
Fortunately for the world at large, the NFL’s throwback uniforms will be restored to their full glory in 2022. The league revised its policy to allow a second helmet to be added to the rotation and paired with any look its team is going for – traditional, throwback, or (deep sigh, rubs temples) Color Rush.
We don’t officially know which franchises will take advantage of the relaxed helmet rule; teams have until July 31 to file their uniform plan with league headquarters. We do know that list will probably include the New England Patriots thanks to Jalen Mills’ Instagram:
Oh myyyyy. From Jalen Mills’s Instagram story…. pic.twitter.com/wvo0R63L2K
– Henry McKenna (@McKennAnalysis) April 21, 2022
Several others will join them, because a snappy throwback is a social media equivalent of throwing against a prevent defense. Which teams have the most to gain with the cleanest looks? Oh, my friend, I am happy you asked.
Listen, if a digested-food brown helmet is what it takes to bring back the yellow dot ACME Packers uniforms, just get it done.
The path is clear for Dallas to get back to its Thanksgiving throwback tradition. These uniforms are… fine.
Philly should have never abandoned the Kelly green.
The Falcons look clean as hell in red. They look clean as hell in black, too, so the throwbacks aren’t a major improvement and thus rank relatively low on my chart. Say, while you’re here, can I interest you in everyone’s favorite center / uncle Jeff Van Note?
That man played into his 40s and is bleeding from the forehead in roughly half of the Getty Image photos where you can see his face. Here he is picketing during the 1987 strike, which took place * after * he retired:
That is a six-time Pro Bowler and not a random trucker bussed in from the nearest Flying J. Get Jeff Van Note to the Hall of Fame immediately.
A truly awful football team (at the time) with a truly awful uniform (at the time). The Bucs’ creamsicle kits are so tacky they swung back to fashionable.
Tom Brady officially unretired due to his love of the game. Unofficially, he knows that these “BRADY 12” jerseys in orange and white are a license to print money.
Seattle has undoubtedly been much better as a franchise since ditching silver as a primary color and reducing the size of its war bird from “enormous” to merely “prominent.” Even so, these are roughly 200 percent better than their day-glo Color Rush catastrophes.
Red helmets, white uniforms, blue numbers. Simple and perfect. Call them your “Jim Kelly special” and sell a million Josh Allen jerseys to Bills Mafia.
Soft blue and orange are peanut butter and chocolate here. Bring back enormous shoulder pads for running backs while we’re at it.
If you have a powder blue uniform, you should be wearing a powder blue uniform. The Los Angeles Chargers figured this out and were rewarded with Justin Herbert for their faith.