Ranking the NFL’s new alternate helmets: Cowboys bring back a classic, Bengals white tiger is a hit, Bears go all orange

One of the best decisions made by the NFL in the past few years was the elimination of the “one-shell rule,” which allowed teams to wear alternate helmets for the 2022 season and beyond. The alternate helmet paved the way for teams to return to classic uniforms and try unique alternate uniform combinations this season.

Teams have definitely taken advantage of the alternate helmet, as 13 have already revealed a new helmet for 2022 – and potentially up to 15 teams will have a second helmet this year (per Uni Watch). Of the 13 teams, four will bring throwback helmets to wear with their throwback jerseys, while the other nine have revealed alternate color helmets to match their current alternate uniform sets.

There will be more throwbacks in 2023, as the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will bring back their Kelly green and orange-cream uniforms, respectively. The entire league could have alternate helmets by the 2023 season, but let’s rank the ones that have been revealed so far.

There will be two separate categories for these charts: Return and Alternative.

Going back

4. Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons have brought back the classic red helmet originally worn by the team in its inaugural season in 1966. The old 1966 uniforms will finally have a helmet to go with it, which includes a gray face mask with the Falcons’ comeback crest logo. trimmed in white. The red helmet also has a black stripe down the middle of the helmet decorated in white and gold.

Atlanta will have an authentic look with these helmets paired with the original Falcons jerseys. The Falcons’ comebacks were already sharp, but that wraps up the set.

3. New York Giants

The Giants used the alternate helmet to their advantage by bringing back the 1980-1990 helmets and the home uniform combination to them (worn from 1980 to 1999). Instead of the lighter blue helmet the Giants used with their colorful rushes, New York went back to the navy helmet with a white face mask and scarlet stripe.

New York also returned to the red and blue trim of the home returns, a classic look that has appreciated over time. These are some of the cleanest uniforms in sports, ones the Giants should keep around for a long time.

2. New England Patriots

The Patriots brought back their popular red jerseys that they wore for nearly three decades, along with the white helmet they carried with them. These jerseys are plain red with blue and white stripes across the red sleeves. The white numbers are bolded with a blue outline and crisp white pants to bring back the nostalgic feel. The Patriots have wanted to bring them back for years.

Even with the impressive returns, “Pat Patriot” may be the most anticipated.

1. Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys didn’t make a big statement about the return of their throwback helmets. There wasn’t even a hint that they would return, demonstrating just how popular the 1960s helmet was in Dallas.

White helmets were the first color of the Cowboys, worn from 1960 to 1964 with a white and royal blue jersey with stars on the shoulder. The Cowboys would honor the original uniform on Thanksgiving Day from 2004 to 2012 before the tradition was halted thanks to the “one shell rule.”

It was one of the best comebacks in the NFL. Only a proper Dallas would bring back the uniform combination for a traditional day on the calendar.

Take turns

Kudos to the Bears for trying something new with their excellent orange alternate jerseys, but this might be a little too orange. The orange jerseys were excellent with their original helmets and the uniform mix didn’t need much change.

This is the first time the Bears have worn a helmet that isn’t navy blue. These helmets are essentially the opposite of the navy blue helmets, as the logo is navy blue (instead of orange) with a white keyline and the face mask is navy blue.

They may be better appreciated on the pitch, but switching to an orange jersey – and uniform combination – that has stood the test of time is a risk.

New Orleans has eliminated the three-stripes look on their helmets and reversed the colors of their staples with this alternate black helmet. The shell went from gold to black while the logo went from black to gold.

Instead of the three stripes look, the Saints decided to have a triangular design with small gold “fleur-de-lis” logos. New Orleans appears to be wearing this with the return of the 1975 away jersey, but they will likely look a lot cleaner on the traditional home uniforms.

The beauty of these helmets. the saints can wear them with any different combination of uniforms.

7. New York Jets

The Jets unveiled a stealth black helmet that will be worn for three games this season, a good look with the black alternate uniforms. The logo will be in forest green, which includes a chrome green facemask with a white keyline.

New York’s black helmet – the first in franchise history – works great with the uniform.

For a team debuting brand new uniforms (and a new name), the black alternate helmets might be the best in Washington.

Washington has never worn a black uniform in its history, but the helmet with the uniform combination is sharp. The DC flag patch on the sleeve is an amazing accent, as are the numbers on the black helmet.

Since Washington was the first team to debut the alternate helmet, the all-black jersey and pants combo with gold numbers works.

The Cardinals debuted these excellent black helmets that will be worn with their alternate black uniform and their color uniform. These helmets will look tough with both uniform designs.

Arizona can wear the alternate uniforms with black or white pants, giving a fresh look when the Cardinals wear them. The look is solid with the white numbers and the helmet fits well. As for the color uniform, the arm panels are red instead of white, with different colored numbers (red) and black pants (instead of white).

With this helmet design, the Cardinals complete their alternate black and color kit. Nice work from Arizona here.

4. Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles only wore the black helmets for one year (before switching to Kelly green) and the franchise was smart not to go too flashy with that design. All the Eagles did was replace the midnight green helmets with black ones, with a sleek look and no midnight green outlines.

The Eagles can wear them with the all-black alternate uniform combination that debuted in 2014 (black jerseys have been worn since 2003). Philadelphia can also wear the helmets with the white jerseys and black pants, as the Eagles wore black pants with the white jerseys for the first time last year.

These helmets are made for the best weather, even if they are disposable.

3. Houston Texas

The Texans’ “Battle Red” alternates are one of the most underrated uniforms in the NFL — and Houston finally has a red helmet to go with the jerseys. These uniforms have aged gracefully since they debuted in 2005. These uniforms have been worn with red pants, blue pants, and white pants and have worked well with each of them.

Houston didn’t change much on the helmet, keeping the dark blue face mask to go with the “Battle Red” color. The “Battle Red” jerseys and white pants will be worn with the helmet, the team’s first helmet change since the franchise debuted in 2002.

No photos of the helmeted uniforms have been revealed, but it’s a clean look that will be popular in Houston.

2. Carolina Panthers

Carolina went outside the box with these helmets, but they look great with the all-black uniform combo. Debuting an all-black uniform combination for the first time, the Panthers unveiled an alternate black helmet with the Panthers logo outlined in baby blue. The helmet stripes will also be baby blue, a fresh look for a team that has worn a silver helmet since its inception in 1995.

The helmet is perfect with a black home jersey and alternative black trousers worn with black socks and black shoes. Black on black on black with light blue trim — somehow the Panthers improved on their home uniforms (which are some of the best in the NFL).

The Panthers broke this uniform design.

The Bengals have been teasing a white helmet to go with their white road uniforms since the one-shell rule was abolished. Cincinnati has finally unveiled the White Tiger helmet, even if the Bengals haven’t revealed what uniforms they’ll pair the helmet with (guess).

Cincinnati just replaced the orange color of the helmet with white, with the only orange on the helmet being the Bengals logo on the front. The “White Bengal” helmet is an easy change and goes perfectly with the all-white uniform the team wears.

The Bengal White Helmets with the road uniforms?

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The helmet’s stripes and nose armor match the uniform. You don’t need to see the full set of uniforms to understand how perfect this uniform — which will be the only one of its kind in the league — will look.

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