As I am about to turn fifty this year, I thought it was time to do a list of the 50 greatest uniforms in NFL of the last 50 years (or so). Being the age I am, throwback uniforms will be a prominent part of this list. Nostalgia weighs heavy when it comes to creating these type of lists. Not every team in the league currently is represented. (Sorry Cleveland Browns I just couldn’t). Without further ado, here is the Steelers Sanctuary list of the top 50 NFL jereseys:
50. San Francisco 49ers – Current
Overall not one of my favorites, however there’s just something about all that Joe Montana did in these uniforms that make it special. Therefore the 49ers squeak into the top 50 with their rather plain and uninspiring offerings.
49. Baltimore Ravens – Current:
Love the purple and black color scheme, not crazy about the logo. If the Ravens could sharpen up that Raven on the helmet, they could easily be top 20.
48. New York Jets – New
The most recent Jets uniforms aren’t half bad. The white and green are much better than the all green versions. Good enough to make a top 50 appearance for sure.
47. Pittsburgh Steelers – Throwback
Now I’m aware these jersey’s are not for everyone. I may be biased being a Steelers blogger and all, but these little beauties are pretty dam good. You can’t argue they are unique at the very least.
46. Chicago Bears – Color Rush
The Chicago Bears uniforms have to be among the most boring in the entire NFL. At least the color rush orange tops give them a little flair.
45. Green Bay Packers – Color Rush:
Very similar to the Bears at 46 here. I find the Packers to be a very boring outfit. Even worse is the awful green and yellow color combination. These color rush versions minimize that with a clean all-white look.
44. New York Giants – Color Rush:
Let’s go for the hat trick of boring kits that get upgraded by the color rush versions. Sometimes just simplifying by going all-white makes all the difference in the world.
43. Kansas City Chiefs – Current
This is the perfect example of being simple, but effective at the same time. The Chiefs got it right from day one, and have not needed to change a thing in fifty years.
42. Houston Texans – Current
Full disclosure, I am heavily biased against the Texans given the fact they replaced some of the all time best uniforms in the form of the Oilers. They probably would rank higher on most people’s lists. The problem being the bar is set extremely high when it comes to NFL franchises in Houston for me.
41. Tennessee Titans – Current
The Titans have about a dozen versions of their jersey’s with multiple variations of blue. These navy blue ones are the best of a mediocre bunch. They to suffer from replacing the Oilers.
40. Los Angeles Rams – Throwback:
Not a huge fan of the Rams new uniforms that will be displayed in 2020 https://www.si.com/nfl/2020/05/13/rams-release-new-uniforms-2020-season.
The white horns on the helmets as opposed to the more recent yellow ones are far better in my opinion. This version with the more muted yellow is an excellent choice.
39. New England Patriots – New:
I like what the Patriots are doing with the new design here. Still, until they rid themselves of the awful flying Elvis logo they will never rank highly on my list.
38. Philadelphia Eagles – Throwback:
Lots of Eagles fans would like to see these Kelly green throwbacks become the permanent jerseys again. I prefer the current darker green, but these are very good as well.
37. Arizona Cardinals – Color Rush:
The Arizona Cardinals have one of the classic jerseys in all of the NFL, and probably shouldn’t be tampered with. Having said that, these color rush black jerseys aren’t half bad.
36. New York Jets – Color Rush:
This is pretty much as good as it gets for the New York Jets. That throwback logo is a classic that any Jets uniform should not be without.
35. Jacksonville Jaguars – Throwback:
The Jacksonville Jaguars have been guilty of trying too hard on their uniforms. This simple black helmets with the teal tops is a very good color combination. When they mess with this you get some of the worst uniforms of all time like their pitiful attempt at the color rush versions seen here: Top 10 Worst NFL Uniforms of all time
34. Dallas Texans – Throwback:
We are going to cheat a little and go back further than fifty years on two of the teams on this list. The first being the Dallas Texans who of course would later become the Kansas City Chiefs. The logo on the helmet is what sets these apart. Exceptional jerseys were the norm from the old AFL as you will see throughout the top half of this list.
33. Cincinnati Bengals – Current:
The Bengals’ helmets are among the most original ever designed for the NFL. Their uniforms have a tendency to become very busy however. They clean that up nicely with the color rush version which will come much higher on this list.
32. Denver Broncos – Throwback:
To anyone who grew up during the 80s, these will always be the Denver Broncos uniforms. Like the New England Patriots, modernizing doesn’t always mean improving.
31. New England Patriots – Throwback I:
Here’s another where we cheat by a few years. Few people know of these original Patriots uniforms even in New England. This little known gem is another classic from the AFL, and its deserving of a top fifty NFL uniform ranking.
30. Atlanta Falcons – Throwback:
The red may be a little overdone here, but it is still a sharp look. Not the highest ranked Falcons throwback as you will see later in the list.
29. Washington Redskins – Throwback:
The time has come for the Washington Redskins to ditch their current helmets, and possibly even their nicknames. If it’s just the helmets that have to go, this is an excellent alternative from back in the 60s.
28. Los Angeles Rams – Throwback II:
Before the Rams introduced yellow into their color scheme, they had a clean blue and white only look. It was perfect, and should have never been tampered with.
27. Los Angles Chargers – New:
I am a huge fan of any Chargers uniform out there. We have yet to see this newest version out on the football field, but it has real potential. Los Angeles recently released six different options for their upcoming season. Check it out here:https://www.chargers.com/news/new-uniforms-2020
26. Miami Dolphins – Color Rush:
It may be too much orange for some, but it works for the Dolphins. For the most part we are big fans of the color rush concept. It tends to simplify things while adding more color. The Dolphins had some of the best out there.
25. Carolina Panthers – Current:
The Carolina Panthers are another one of those teams who are constantly messing with their color combinations. There is no need to tamper with this teal top, black bottoms selection. Leave this one alone Carolina, stop trying too hard.
24. Indianapolis Colts – Throwback:
The Colts have a rather boring two color outfit. These throwbacks give us something different however. The darker blue, and the dual horseshoes on the back are far better than their everyday kits. The Colts should think about keeping this look.
23. Detroit Lions – Color Rush I:
The Lions got it right early on. The Lion logo is among the best in the league. More “Honolulu” blue is never a bad thing!
22. Washington Redskins – Throwback II:
As we mentioned earlier, the Redskins need a total change in uniform and nickname. It has been reported owner Dan Snyder wants to continue to honor Native Americans. https://www.si.com/nfl/redskins/news/sources-snyder-wants-to-continue-to-honor-native-americans-but-keep-emblem-and-colors
Well here’s your easy fix! Use these gems, and call themselves the Warriors. Done and done.
21. New Orleans Saints – Color Rush:
This is one instance where we do not like the color rush better than the original uniforms. The Saints are so good however, that both had to be included on this list. The all-whites are sharp, but we have the current ones ranked even higher.
20. Philadelphia Eagles – Current:
Dark green is a very unique color for football jerseys in general. Add that to the near perfect wings on the helmet and voila, you have a top 20 NFL uniform!
19. Arizona Cardinals – Current:
The Chicago/St. Louis/Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals haven’t changed their uniforms much since they came into existence way back in 1898. There’s good reason for that. The Cardinal logo and the Red, white, and black color scheme are fantastic. They have in recent years become a little busy with all the swooshes on the pants and shoulders, but these are still among the best in football.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers – Current:
The Steelers uniforms are among the best in the entire league right now. They have their trademark logo on just one side of the helmet. That combine with an elite color combination of black and yellow make them outstanding. They did manage to improve on this look as you will see later in the list.
17. Dallas Cowboys – Current:
The Dallas Cowboys are one of those teams who just got it right. It’s not overly complicated, just a star and the blue, white, and silver color combo. They don’t use the blue tops anywhere near as much as they should. It’s far better than their staple white tops they often go with.
16. Miami Dolphins – Throwback:
Just another example of where “modern” does not equate to “better”. The old Dolphins logo was much better than the new one they created. Sometimes things are better off left alone, the Dolphins are a prime example of that.
15. Minnesota Viking – Current:
There is something to be said for having a simple, unique design on a helmet. Teams like the Cardinals, Raiders, Steelers, and Vikings fall into that category. Too often now teams try to get too cute with their designs and end up falling short. The Vikings nailed it with their helmets along with the rare purple color scheme.
14. Cincinnati Bengals – Color Rush:
As we mentioned earlier on this list, the Bengals have an elite helmet logo. Their problem comes when they get too busy with the uniform. Thankfully the color rush solves that with this clean, white look. Cincinnati should adopt this a their everyday uniforms immediately.
13. Miami Dolphins – Alternate
Once upon a time the Miami Dolphins went with the alternate orange tops, and I have to say they are pretty sweet. As good as the aqua-green classics are, these are better! Orange is an underrated color for football uniforms.
12. Detroit Lions – Color Rush II:
The Detroit Lions somehow snuck these all grey color rush uniforms by me. I only recently discovered these gems. The all grey look is extremely rare and really works with the LIons version of blue. These are super clean and look fantastic. The Lions might want to make these a regular part of their jersey rotation.
11. Denver Broncos – Color Rush:
What happens when the Denver Broncos go back to their old helmet logo, darken the original blue, and go full orange? You get a nearly top ten NFL uniform that’s what! A slight tweak to dark blue or white pants to tamp down the orange a bit and you would have a truly elite uniform here!
10. Buffalo Bills – Throwback
We mentioned earlier that the old AFL would have it’s share of entries on this list. The Buffalo Bills throwbacks are just another great example. The older style buffalo on the helmet is classic. Combine that with that perfect shade of blue, and you’re really on to something.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers – Color Rush:
Just when you think you can’t improve on an already great uniform, the Steelers bust out their version of the color rush. It takes an already classic outfit, and makes it that much better. These are the top of the class in terms of NFL color rush jerseys.
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Throwback:
Without question, the most original jerseys to ever be worn on the football field. Where to we begin with these beauties? The helmet logo is near perfect, and the “creamsicle” color is a refreshing change to the same old same old. Why in the world the Buccaneers ever decided to change these is beyond comprehension. Do the world a favor Tampa and bring them back for good.
7. New Orleans Saints – Current:
Here’s another example of a simple, yet distinctive helmet logo. The Saints version of black and gold/tan also works very well. These are among the best the modern NFL has to offer right now.
6. New England Patriots – Throwback II:
We have been banging the “modern” isn’t “better” drum throughout this list and here’s another prime example. The “Pat” Patriot on the helmet is a terrific design, and one that should never have been replaced. New England made a huge mistake in changing out of these classics.
5. Atlanta Falcons – Throwback:
We had the all red Falcons throwbacks earlier on, but these are far and away the best versions to come out of Atlanta. Red and black is an elite color scheme when it comes to football uniforms. The falcon design on the helmet is also fantastic. These are easily top five selections.
4. Las Vegas Raiders – Current:
There isn’t a more bad-ass uniform ever designed for a football team than the Raiders. It’s just that simple. Nearly all black with a pirate with crossed swords behind him? Seriously, this captures the violent nature of football perfectly. That’s probably why it hasn’t changed in over fifty years, nor should it.
3. Houston Oilers – Throwback:
The Oilers had a few variations to their colors over the years, but nothing beats this one shown above. If the Texans had any sense at all, they’d find a way to get the rights to these jersey’s. It would be hard to find anyone who’d object to the swap.
2. Los Angeles Chargers – Throwback:
I guess we have to call them throwbacks again now that the Chargers are planning on some new uniforms in 2020. Although the new ones won’t differ too much, they still are messing with perfection. Los Angeles has themselves a truly elite football uniform here.
1. Seattle Seahawks – Throwback:
This is THE best football uniform ever designed. From the bold Seahawk logo on the helmet, to the navy blue with hints of green it all works perfectly. So naturally the geniuses in the Seahawks front office decided to change it. Thankfully they kept the logo, but inexplicably someone decided the dullest form of blue on earth combined with traffic cone green/yellow was a better color scheme. Good lord what a terrible decision. Do the football world a favor and bring back the true Seahawks colors Seattle.