The NFL has seen the number of alternate and throwback uniforms worn drop significantly in recent years as the league puts safety first. Players are restricted to wearing one helmet all season long, which prevents teams from using helmets that would match throwback uniforms – unless it’s as simple as removing the decal.
Additionally, teams are allowed to wear alternates or throwbacks only twice a year, which isn’t nearly enough. These nine teams have some of the best old-school sets in all of football, and it’s time for each franchise to make them their permanent look.
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The fans want them, owner Jeffrey Lurie wants them, and players probably do, too. The Eagles’ Kelly green alternates are some of the best jerseys in the NFL, and it’s no surprise the team made a proposal to use them as alternate uniforms – before withdrawing it, unfortunately. This would be a big change from the Eagles’ current midnight green but one that would certainly go over well with fans and players.
Philly wore Kelly green for much of its existence prior to 2000, and between the helmets and the jerseys, they looked fantastic. The simplicity is what made them so sharp.
The Bears’ throwback uniforms are some of the best in football. It almost looks like a Color Rush set without the monochromatic pants. The orange numbers and stripes on the arms stand out on the navy jerseys, largely thanks to the removal of white. The simplicity of the blue helmets without the “C” logo also look great with the jerseys.
Chicago’s current jerseys aren’t as bad as the Browns’ or Buccaneers, but they could certainly use some improvement. Going backward would actually be a step in the right direction.
Nam Y. Huh
New England Patriots
Let’s be honest: The Patriots have some of the worst uniforms in the NFL. The thick, silver stripe on the shoulder is bad, and the piping down the leg looks outdated. The Patriots should go out on a limb and just use their throwbacks full-time. Yes, the red throwbacks with Pat Patriot on the helmet.
It would be a completely different color scheme from their current navy, white and silver (with a little red), but it would be a major upgrade from today’s uniforms. The blue and white stripe on the shoulder and the lines down the pants look retro, but in a good way.
The Falcons’ uniforms aren’t awful, but they’re also not great. One way to make them better would be to remove the red accents on the shoulder area and go back to the all-black retro uniforms from 1966. The Falcons wore them this past season, and they looked awesome. It’s a clean and simple look, which is what teams are going for these days.
The only caveat in going back to these retro uniforms is the helmet. The Falcons would have to use the red ones. They wore them a few years ago before the NFL put in place strict helmet rules, and it really popped on the field.
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Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers aren’t changing their uniforms or primary logo as a result of the move to Los Angeles just yet, but they may down the road. If they do, there’s absolutely no doubt which color scheme they should use: powder blue. The Chargers’ classic powder blue alternates pay homage uniforms worn from 1968-73, and they still look great today.
These should become the team's primary home jerseys – numbers on the helmet, included. They stand out so much more than the current navy jerseys do, and just look … better.
I’m probably in the minority on this, but Dallas’ uniforms are not great. There are two different grays, two different blues, and neither of them match the other. At home, they wear white jerseys with blueish gray pants, but on the road they wear navy jerseys and silver pants. It’s their traditional uniform set that hasn’t changed in years, but their Thanksgiving throwbacks are so much better.
The white helmets with the blue and white jerseys look fantastic – especially with the white pants. The Cowboys don't wear them anymore because of the NFL’s one-helmet rule, so they have to stick with a silver helmet, which obviously isn't a great match.
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Los Angeles Rams
The Rams plan to completely overhaul their uniforms when their new home in Los Angeles opens, but until then, they’ll be rocking blue and white … with a touch of gold, for some reason. The switch ti white stripes on the helmets and pants are nice, but it’s still not enough. They need to go full-blown blue and yellow like the old L.A. days.
There’s a chance the Rams will do exactly that when they move into their permanent stadium in 2020, but who knows.
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers’ “Creamsicle” uniform set is one of the most polarizing in the NFL. Some hate it, while others believe the team should go back to it. I’m with the latter group. The Bucs have some of the worst current uniforms in the game, and there’s no possible way they could get any worse. The alarm clock numbers are awful, and there’s just too much … brown.
The creamsicle look at least stands out, even if you hate the color orange. And the logo? Don’t get me started on the logo. The old school Bucco Bruce emblem is so very much better.
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The Dolphins just revamped their uniforms a few years ago, going to a lighter aqua color with a new logo and less orange. There’s really nothing wrong with the change, but their current uniforms are nowhere near as great as their throwbacks from 1966.
The Dolphins wear these jerseys once in a blue moon – at least they have the past two years – but they should become permanent. They look spectacular, and there are very few people who would say otherwise. They stand out far more than their current jerseys, with the orange accents popping on the aqua base color.