The NFL might not stand for “No Fun League” much longer.
The league has relaxed some of its stricter rules in recent years, and in the 2022 season teams will no longer have to abide by the one-helmet rule. Teams can have one alternate helmet that players will be able to wear in games.
The second helmets can be paired with alternate, throwback and Color Rush jerseys. That gives each team flexibility to mix and match its uniform combinations throughout the season.
This seems like a win for the NFL, as fans will get to see some of their favorite throwback helmets in game action. SN is most looking forward to seeing these eight once the 2022 season rolls around.
PHOTOS: SN ranks the throwback uniforms
We have to start with the obvious one. The Buccaneers’ Creamsicle orange uniform might be the best throwback jersey in the NFL, and the helmet is definitely the best of the bunch.
The red-and-orange buccaneer on a white helmet is a terrific logo that’s known affectionately as “Bucco Bruce.” It will be quite a lot of fun to see Tom Brady wearing that on the side of his head — assuming the veteran quarterback is still playing in 2022.
Tampa Bay owner Joel Glazer had been leading the push to change the throwback rules for a long time.
“On the throwbacks, we’re constantly on the league’s doorstep trying to get them to move so we can wear our throwbacks,” Glazer said, per Pewter Report. “We’re not there yet. But there are discussions going on and hopefully at some point in the future that will happen. I know how popular they are with our fans.”
So, it’s safe to say that the Buccaneers will be one of the teams wearing throwbacks early and often once the new helmet rules are in place.
Like the Bucs, the Patriots boast a solid throwback helmet with a white base and a mascot serving as the logo. “Pat the Patriot” may not be quite as iconic as Bucco Bruce, but needless to say, he’s more interesting than the “Flying Elvis” that currently graces the side of the New England helmets.
The Patriots have had more success with the Flying Elvis than Pat the Patriot, but fans would probably welcome a return of the red alternates and the classic helmets. They’ll certainly wonder whether Mac Jones will be wearing one in ’22 as he looks to emerge as Brady’s successor.
There aren’t many differences between the Eagles helmets of new and old. They both feature a wing on each side and a green background.
But the shades of green are much different. The newer helmets are midnight green and the older helmets are kelly green. The kelly green stands out and makes for a uniquely bright uniform combination that fans would welcome seeing again.
Randall Cunningham wore kelly green during his Eagles days. Perhaps Jalen Hurts would look like a mini-Cunningham in these jerseys — if he can develop as a passer.
The Falcons changed up their uniforms ahead of the 2020 season. They largely butchered what was one of the NFL’s slicker jersey designs and ended up finishing as the fourth-worst team in the NFL.
Coincidence? Probably, but it wouldn’t hurt to give the throwback helmet a shot in 2022 if the team’s losing ways continue in 2021.
The Falcons have a sharp-looking red helmet with a black Falcons logo on the side. It would provide more pop than their current helmets, which are a black base with a red, black and white Falcons logo.
The Broncos have increasingly shifted to orange jerseys over the past few years to honor the Orange Crush defense, but they still wear dark blue helmets. Orange and blue are complimentary colors, but the dark blue makes the uniforms stand out just a bit less.
Few would complain if the team switched to its old-school baby blue helmets for a handful of games. The logo on those are pretty cool.
The Seahawks completely revamped their jerserys and helmets in 2012. The switch took place after Nike took over the NFL’s jersey manufacturing deal from Reebok.
While the modern Seahawks jerseys are sharper and better than the ones of old, there is a certain amount of charm to the silver helmet the team donned before the change.
The green-eyed Seahawk would look good on Russell Wilson’s head and the unique blue facemask would help separate the helmet from other throwbacks.
Miami’s jersey colors are elite and represent the South Florida region well. There was always something charming about the helmet-wearing dolphin jumping out of the sea and into the sun.
With all due respect to the newer dolphin on Miami’s helmet, we wouldn’t mind seeing our old friend return for a few games per season, if only to give us visions of Dan Marino gracing the field.
The Bengals don’t really have a good throwback helmet. They’ve been using the striped helmet since the 1980s. So why did they make the list? They will have an opportunity to make their own alternate helmet instead of using a traditional throwback.
Some have suggested a white-and-black look. The zebra look with a white Color Rush jersey could be a nice alternate pairing.
That would be pretty cool. Either way, it’s interesting to imagine what the creative team behind one of the NFL’s best helmets can come up with.
Newer expansion teams, such as the Panthers, Jaguars and Texans, will bear watching as well since they don’t have traditional throwbacks and will have the freedom to make their own.
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