For the first time in a decade, the NFL is allowing teams to add a second helmet to their uniform inventories. This allows some clubs to celebrate their heritage with retro looks, while others take a different route by introducing an entirely new crown to their repertoire.
(After the 2012 season, the league had limited each team to one helmet; the reason was that players were better protected by a properly fitted piece of head protection. That rule meant that only teams like the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins For example, they could affect a retro style, you just need to change the decals on the helmets.Squads who choose to use alternate helmets must ensure that each player’s helmet is the same model and size as their primary helmet, and must be worn on practice before games when used).
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The rollout began in Week 4, when the Bengals revealed their highly anticipated “White Bengal” kit on “Thursday Night Football.” It was a spectacular alternative for a franchise that had sported orange caps for the rest of its 55-year existence.
But don’t expect all the new reveals to go so smoothly. Here is a ranking of the 13 teams that will use the additional hull option in 2022, one of them a double dipper:
1. Cincinnati Bengals
They debuted their black and mostly white Color Rush uniforms in 2016. Now, the white helmet with black tiger stripes finally completes that “White Flare” introduction as a highly distinguished substitute for a team that had been doing little more than ruin their primary t-shirts with unnecessary samples and such for almost 20 years. A record 67,260 fans entered Paycor Stadium last week to celebrate the bleaching theme.
2. New England Patriots
No matter how you feel about this team, and most fans are at one end of the spectrum or another, most seem to universally prefer the white “Pat Patriot” helmet that dates back to New England’s AFL days. Happily, he’ll be back this Sunday, perhaps commemorating rookie QB Bailey Zappe’s first start twice.
3. New Orleans Saints
They brought out their new black helmets for last weekend’s game in London. Largely a reversal of their familiar domes, the alternatives have black covers with a gold fleur-de-lis logo on the side with a series of smaller ones in a tapering pattern down the center line, similar to the feathers used by the Seattle. Seahawks. A pretty definite look for the Saints, who have almost always looked clean in their various combinations of “old gold,” black and white … that 2002 experiment with gold jerseys notwithstanding.
4. Atlanta Falcons
His throwbacks don’t qualify for New England’s acclaim — maybe it has something to do with the Patriots for six Lombardi Trophies, including the Super Bowl 51 gift — but Atlanta’s original red helmets are pretty stylish. Lately, the Falcons had been unable to do more than put their original logo on the black helmets, recalling their successful era of the 1990s, which included the franchise’s first Super Bowl loss since the 1998 season. red helmets with black, white and gold stripes really evoke the past. This original scheme was devised as a way to pay tribute to the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech. It returns in week 6.
5. New York Giants
We had to double check this one as they had been using the “GIANTS” block logo for several years. Last weekend, their blue Lawrence Taylor-era T-shirts resurfaced with the throwback logo as well, which was attached to a new helmet in a slightly darker shade of blue than the G-Men typically wear.
6. Washington Commanders
Their alternate uniforms topped off with a black helmet might be the least objectionable aspect of their failed rebranding. First introduced in Sunday’s loss at Dallas, the military style of the uniform and the DC flag on the shoulders are nice touches. The black helmet itself is unique in that the team’s new “W” logo is found on the forehead with the players’ jersey numbers on the sides. Frankly, the commanders should have made this their new primary uniform given that it would have further distanced the team from their burgundy and gold color scheme, which only serves as adornment on the black kit, which many feel still inextricably links the franchise to his controversial former name.
7. Dallas Cowboys
Shocker, Jerry Jones is going to market you something (sort of) new. In Week 17, Dallas will wear a matte white helmet with its iconic star logo, which is bordered by white and blue outlines.
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Bonus: If you’re a fan of the throwback look Dallas has often featured on Thanksgiving in the past, well, it’s back for Turkey Day this year too, set apart by the star logo on the hull with no outlines.
8. Houston Texans
His new “Battle Red” helmet will debut in Week 9 against the Eagles and will mark the first time the Texans have worn something other than their “Deep Steel Blue” helmet in the 21-season franchise history. Unfortunately, this lines up with the team’s generally unimaginative look.
9. Philadelphia Eagles
If you weren’t paying close attention, this could almost go unnoticed. But they will wear black helmets, to go with their black jerseys and pants, in Week 12 against the Green Bay Packers … not that the black helmet deviates much from the Eagles’ “Midnight Green” standard. But be patient Philly fans, owner Jeffrey Lurie promised earlier this year that Kelly Green’s beloved helmets (and uniforms) will return in 2023…after Nike has had time to make color manufacturing The correct one.
10. Carolina Panthers
If you feel a proliferation of black helmets and feel transported back to the 1990s, when it seemed like professional sports teams from across the spectrum wanted to add black to their uniform palettes, then yes, you’re right. . Add in the Panthers, who are essentially replacing matte black with silver, with the big reveal for Thursday night’s Week 10 matchup against Atlanta. Similar to Philly, Carolina will go all black that night.
11. Chicago Bears
For the first time in their 103-season history, the Bears will wear a non-navy blue helmet. Unfortunately, what you’ll see in Weeks 6 and 8 is an orange helmet that’s just as uninspired as the Texans’ alternate “Battle Red”…and probably worse as a player if you look like the Headless Horseman. We suggest sticking with the nice winged throwbacks and/or bringing back the white “C” logo from the Butkus and Sayers years from time to time.
12. New York Jets
They’ll also wear matte “Stealth Black” three times this season, the recently changed team logo changing from white to green. Who asked for this? Big question. They should take a cue from the Giants across town and bring back the logo from the ’80s and ’90s, which is much preferable, in some form or fashion.
13. Arizona Cardinals
Continuing the theme of the Bears, Jets, Panthers and Texans – meh. To be fair, maybe Arizona’s black helmets to be paired with the Cardinals’ two alternate black jerseys (yes, they have two) are a slight upgrade. But that’s to be expected when you have the worst uniforms in the league. Back to the drawing board…
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: New NFL Helmets: Ranking All 13 Uniforms in 2022 from Best to Worst