2016 NFL Helmets Rankings-Helmet Addict

dwuw5lojnwsj12vfe0hfa6z47It is almost time for the NFL season to begin for real and that means there is no better time to rank all 32 team’s primary helmets. Now, I realize most lists of this nature are completely arbitrary and absolutely subjective. People have a wide variety of ideas on what the ideal football uniform is in the 21st century. To help guide me through the ranking process I used a simple three-point system, added them up and then put them in order. The three categories I am judging for every helmet (all categories out of 10):

Team Colors: Team colors are important and some teams have better colors than others. For the most part I prefer brighter colors for uniforms, but some teams with traditionally dark uniforms will not lose points.

Stripes and/or Logos: This is a very important category. Obviously the most important part of a helmet is the logo, but I am a stripe junkie. the more stripes the better, so teams with no stripes or bad stripes may lose points.

Overall: This is just an overall ranking each helmet, factoring in the other categories and the overall appearance of each helmet.

Note: these rankings consider the helmets only and ( I will try not to) do not account for the entire uniform as a whole. 

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Buccaneers_helmet

Sorry Bucs fans, you have to know that your beloved team took one of the biggest missteps ever in the history of uniform design. I mean, there is so much to hate about these uniforms, but the helmet alone is a complete disaster. When I heard they were redesigning the uniforms I quietly hoped that they would at the very least go back to a color scheme similar to their original creamsicle sets. Instead the Pewter Pirates decided to double down on the pewter and add a gaudy, unnecessarily gigantic helmet decal that would make any Arena League fan proud. I say Bucco Bruce or bust!
Suggested Change: Go back to one of the best helmets ever and be done with it.

Team Colors: 3
Logos And Stripes: 2
Overall: 3
Total: 8

31. Houston Texans

Texans

The Texans have one of the most generic uniforms in sports. When they first unveiled this set back in 2002 I was sure that they just hadn’t finished designing it yet and that when they finally hit the field in September there would be something more to it. I hate the navy blue color and the lack of stripes makes me sick. The logo is okay in a vacuum, but when your city’s former football team’s logo is pure perfection, it leaves a lot to be desired. Unfortunately for the city of Houston and NFL fans everywhere, Oiler/Titans owner Bud Adams was incredibly greedy and not only stole the city’s team, but their entire identity as well. Taking all of the Oilers trademarks and logos with him, only to retire them permanently a few short years later after he rebranded his franchise as the Titans. Now we are only left with memories of Earl Campbell, Warren Moon, Bum Phillips and his oversized cowboy hat while we watch the eternally boring Texans take the field in their drab and lifeless uniforms.
Suggested Change: Change to a brighter blue and add some stripes or get the Oilers trade marks back somehow and make things right.

Team Colors: 2.3
Logos And Stripes: 3
Overall: 4
Total: 9.3

30. Atlanta Falcons

atlanta-falcons-helmet-logo-7-primaryI was surprised that based on my rankings the Falcons were so low on the list, but the numbers don’t lie and they land firmly in the thirty spot. I will start off right away by saying overall I love the Falcons red and black color scheme. Red and black are my favorite color combination in sports and in life. With that said, the Falcons have completely botched their look with the most recent redesign. As many will remember the Falcons originally went to an all black scheme back in the early nineties when Jerry Glanville signed on as their head coach. They have looked awful ever since. This helmet is way too plain  and the lack of color and stripes ultimately doomed them on this list. The revamped modern logo is okay looking, but it would look a lot better on a red helmet with stripes. The real shame is that due to the NFL’s silly one-helmet rule, we won’t even get to see their beautiful throwbacks a couple of times a year anymore.
Suggested Changes: Go back to the best and use your throwbacks full-time and add some damn stripes!

Team Colors: 4
Logos And Stripes: 3
Overall: 5
Total: 12

29. Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars

The Jaguars don’t have a very long history in the league, so the fact that they have already had a couple major uniform changes could be a bad sign. After a few years of testing the market with a helmet that changed colors in the light the Jags went all out with their new design in 2013. Taking the color changing a step further, they decided on a two-tone helmet with black fading into gold. It also features both metallic glossy elements and a matte finish as well, making the helmet far too complicated for my taste. The logo is okay, but the teal tongue makes it look like the Jaguars’ mascot had been eating a teal lollipop or something. While this helmet is by no means a disaster like the Buccaneers, and I will give them some credit for originality, a two-tone helmet really has no place on a professional football field.
Suggestions: Pick a color and style and scrap the two-tone look. Also, add some stripes. maybe like this.

Team Colors: 4
Logos And Stripes: 5
Overall: 4
Total: 13

28. Miami Dolphins

dolphins

The Dolphins had one of the more questionable uniform changes in the past few years. Over the years their uniform remained largely the same, with the exception of a few minor changes here and there. That all changed in 2013 and in a big way. Changing the familiar colors for a brighter aqua blue and scraping the lovable and quirky helmeted dolphin for a streamlined squinting dolphin did not impress anyone. For the helmet specifically I do not see anything good about this helmet. In an era of heightened player safety how can you take away the dolphins’ helmet? Just awful. Now we will have a lot less jokes about the M on his helmet and the dream of a helmet with infinite regression.
Suggestion: Go back to what works. The throwbacks would be perfect full-time uniforms.

Team Colors: 4
Logos And Stripes: 4
Overall: 5
Total: 13

27. Tennessee Titans

titans

When the Titans retired the Oilers uniforms and logos they went to a far inferior uniform set. The light blue and navy blue don’t really work together and I feel that the logo is completely uninspired. I suppose it doesn’t help having a team nickname that doesn’t really mean much anymore and was probably picked because of alliteration. The 90s style stripes would be my first choice to go, I never thought that those type of stripes were a particularly good look. I guess the designers feel that it makes the team look more aggressive.  Overall the helmet and uniform as a whole is boring and forgettable and badly in need of  the upgrade that they have promised in the next couple years.
Suggestions: Get rid of the Navy blue, embrace the “titans blue”. Total makeover needed, badly. Get some real damn stripes!

Team Colors: 5
Logos And Stripes: 5
Overall: 5
Total: 15

26. Denver Broncos

Denver-Broncos-helmet-jpg

When the Denver Broncos first changed their uniforms, many celebrated what was believed to be at the time a pretty cutting edge uniform. I’m not sure I ever agreed with that assessment, mainly because as I’ve stated many times over, I have navy blue in a uniform. Losing the orange crush Broncos uniforms was an American tragedy, despite the fact that they never won a Super bowl in them. There was also something to be said for the rather crude hand drawn horse logo that lived inside the letter D on their old helmets. Plus that blue was beautiful. They also went with a strange helmet stripe that never looked all that that great. I would take some of the best features of their classic and current look to create something stunning for 2018.
Suggestions: Go back to the Orange Crush uniforms and helmet. If you have to I guess you can keep the current logo, but for the love of God get some real stripes!

Team Colors: 4
Logos And Stripes: 6
Overall: 6
Total: 16

25. New England Patriots

patriots Like the Broncos, the Patriots have had the most success in their current uniforms. Despite the somewhat hideous appearance, Flying Elvis has been good to them. Unfortunately, they have a way better option in their history and his name it Patrick Patriot. The Pat Patriot style uniforms with the bright red jerseys and awesome helmet logo were a thing of beauty and something to behold despite all of the losing Boston fans had to put up with.  Pat represents a time when the Patriots weren’t universally hated and known for spygate, deflategate and bad cutoff hooded sweatshirts. Like the Broncos a combination of the two might be the best bet going forward. Otherwise, I’m honestly sick of seeing this uniform and awful helmet.
Suggestion: Combine Pat Patriot and Flying Elvis, somehow and go back to a red jersey. (I’m trying really hard to just focus on the helmets, here).

Team Colors: 6
Logos And Stripes: 5
Overall: 5
Total: 16

24. Seattle Seahawks

helmet-seahawks

This entry will undoubtedly be controversial. It seems like the Seahawks latest uniform set is very polarizing, many people love the design and colors while others like me still long for the days of The Boz and Steve Largent.  The fact that I grew up and loved their 70s-2000s silver green and blue helmets definitely impacts my rating of their current helmet. I don’t mind the new version of the logo. It is a meaner, modernized version of the classic logo. The thing that loses me is the awful navy color the omission of  the really great green color that was ultimately replaced by seafoam green or whatever they’re calling it these days. In the end we know exactly who to blame for this mess, the fans.
Suggestion: Please go back to your 70s and 80s style uniforms and helmet. I know I’m old, but I love them!

Team Colors: 4
Logos And Stripes: 7
Overall: 6
Total: 17

23. Philadelphia Eagles

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The Eagles are ranked this low for one reason and one reason only. Midnight Green. As a lot of teams did in the 90s, the Eagles decided that it would be in their best interest to switch to a dark green and add black to their color scheme. It was an awful decision. They went from one of the best helmet sand uniforms ever to a completely awful uniform that seemed outdated and trendy from the second they switched. I love the logo and the lack of stripes is surprisingly just fine by me, but that color ruins EVERYTHING!
Suggestion: Just Do it. Everyone agrees.

Team Colors: 4
Logos And Stripes: 10
Overall: 6
Total: 20

22. Cleveland Browns

browns

The Browns are the last NFL team to continue to forego a helmet logo. I like tradition and simple historical and classic uniforms, so I like the Browns uniforms. Sure, in any other context, brown and orange go horrible together, but the Browns have somehow made it work for decades. Even when they came back into the league in 1999, they surprisingly stayed with their classic design. This all changed a couple of years back, though, and they now look ridiculous. As for the helmet. I don’t much care for the matte finish and the stripes which look similar to their classic stripes, have some weird pattern on them. Plus the brown facemask is unnecessary.  Therefore their ranking suffers.
Suggestion: Just go back to what you used to have and we all will pretend this never happened.

Team Colors: 7
Logos And Stripes: 6
Overall: 7
Total: 20

21. Carolina Panthers

panthers

I’ll admit, after making my custom Panthers helmet for Super Bowl 50, the helmet started to grow on me. Unfortunately, not too much I guess, because they still couldn’t crack the top twenty of our ranking. I like the colors and the metallic helmet. Where they ultimately lose me, and this will shock you, is the stripes. I just don’t like that style stripe on a helmet. The logo is also middling and even with the recent update (which most everyone hasn’t even noticed), is just not that exciting. I just think they can do better overall.  Time for an update, guys.
Suggestion: Stripe, stripes, Stripe. New logo, maybe?

Team Colors: 7
Logos And Stripes: 7
Overall: 7
Total: 20

20. Los Angeles Rams

rams

Like the Eagles, the Rams have one of the best, as well as the first helmet logo, in sports. It is iconic, unique and amazing, but something went wrong the day they went to Vegas gold and the dreaded navy blue. The Rams of St. Louis were at the apex of sports when their Greatest Show On Turf won the Super Bowl in 1999. The uniforms were classic and wonderful, despite the recent relocation from LA in 1995. Then, for reasons unknown the Rams scrapped their historic colors for trendy gold and navy that just never looked right. Word is that they will go back to their rightful colors now that they’re back in LA and the throwbacks are a step in the right direction, but until then their ranking will suffer.
Suggestions: No need, the wheels are already in motion for a return in 2018.

Team Colors: 5
Logos And Stripes: 10
Overall: 6
Total: 21

19. Baltimore Ravens

Ravens

The Ravens have a cool name, a cool color scheme and a pretty okay helmet, but still they only landed on the 19th spot. Why? Well for one they have those dreaded, awful stripes I hate, which automatically takes away from the overall look of the helmet. I also have mixed feelings about the helmet logo. I like the idea of the bird head, like the Cardinals have had forever, but adding the letter “B” to it doesn’t seem at all necessary, so I’ve deducted points. Sorry Edgar Allen Poe.
Suggestions: Get rid of the “B” and get some real stripes, dude.

Team Colors: 5
Logos And Stripes: 10
Overall: 6
Total: 21

18. Chicago Bears

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I like the bears helmet. I like the wishbone “C” and I’m totally okay with their super dark Midnight blue. With that said, they have a very plain helmet, which I’m not really into changing out of respect for tradition. If I was pushed, I would maybe add some stripes, but all in all I think they should remain the same, even if they are rather low on the list.
Suggestions: None, they are fine the way they are. (Okay, how about some stripes?)

Team Colors: 7
Logos And Stripes: 8
Overall: 7
Total: 22

17.  Detroit Lions

lions

The lions are another team that would rank way higher before they got goofy and added black to their color scheme and tried to modernize the logo. The current helmet’s stripes are too thin and the black is pointless. I loved the older style helmet. The one that was okay for Barry Sanders to wear for his entire career.  There was really no reason to change. I do really love the Honolulu Blue, though, so extra points for that, my friends.
Suggestions: Go back to the Sanders era and everything will be fine.

Team Colors: 9
Logos And Stripes: 7
Overall: 7
Total: 23

16. New Orleans Saints

saints

I really like the Saints helmets. It has a unique logo that looks really good on a helmet and the gold is pretty nice. I also love the stripes and consider the Saints to have one of the best helmet stripes in the league.
Suggestions: Having an alternative black helmet wouldn’t be horrible.

Team Colors: 8
Logos And Stripes: 8
Overall: 8
Total: 24

15. Minnesota Vikings

vikings

I love the color purple on their uniforms and the Viking horn is one of the better logos in the NFL. With that said the switch to a matte finish has hurt them a bit in these rankings. I feel like they would be much better suited with a glossy helmet. Overall though, I didn’t take too many points away because of it, but they would definitely be higher with a more purple people eater era helmet.
Suggestions: Go back to old style horn and glossy classic helmet finish.

Team Colors: 9
Logos And Stripes: 7
Overall: 8
Total: 24

14. Washington Redskins

redskins

Obviously this helmet comes with some controversy over the use of Native American imagery and a slightly if not blatantly racist nickname. If pushed i would say, sure, they should probably change their name, but I also don’t think it is the end of the world if they stay as the Redskins. At this point no one identifies that word as anything , but a football team. Anyhow, design wise, I really like the Redskins helmet and the logo has great detail as well as being around forever. They were in one of the first few Super Bowls I remember watching, so they have always been apart of “my NFL”. I also enjoy their stripe and current yellow/gold facemask. Extra points for that.
Suggestions: Changing your name and logo wouldn’t be the worst, but either way is fine by me.

Team Colors: 9
Logos And Stripes: 7
Overall: 8
Total: 24

13. Arizona Cardinals

cardinals

The cardinals don’t have one of  the most elaborate helmets in the league and that is just fine. They did recently tweak the bird logo, but ultimately helmet-wise they have been pretty much the same for the last fifty years and there is something nice and comforting about that. I’m pretty okay with the lack of stripes, but adding some couldn’t hurt, right?
Suggestions: Stripes, anyone?

Team Colors: 8
Logos And Stripes: 8
Overall: 8
Total: 24

12. New York Giants

New_York_Giants_helmet_rightface

I really love the metallic blue that the Giants have been using. It really pops on an HD or 4K television. The fact that it is a bit of a throwback design as well is great and the red stripe is a great touch, even if I usually prefer a multicolored stripe pattern. Overall I give pretty high marks for their classic, yet modern design.
Suggestions: It all looks good from here!

Team Colors: 8
Logos And Stripes: 8
Overall: 8.5
Total: 24.5

11. San Diego Chargers

chargers

The Chargers are a team that has always looked pretty good. Even their current uniform, which might be their worst, is still better than most of the league. The helmet has a great classic design that changed a few times, but always has kept the signature bolt logo. I prefer the Dan Fouts era uniforms and helmet personally, but there is not much to complain about overall with this current helmet.
Suggestions: Dan Fouts era, Please.

Team Colors: 8
Logos And Stripes: 9
Overall: 8
Total: 25

Wow, we have finally made it to the top ten. Thanks for reading if you made it this far.

10. Dallas Cowboys

cowboys

I will start off by saying as a franchise and a team I despise the Cowboys. They are everything that is wrong with sports today. With that said, I have to admit I like their uniforms for the most part. I like that they have remained relatively unchanged for most of my life and the Dallas Star is one of the most recognizable logos in sports. They also have a great set of stripes and the silver shell is pretty great as well. I hate them, but I can not deny that they belong in the top ten of this list.
Suggestions: Stop being an evil franchise.

Team Colors: 8
Logos And Stripes: 9
Overall: 9
Total: 26

9. New York Jets

Jets-Helmet

The only reason the Jets are this high on the list is the fact that their main color is green. I really love green on uniforms and the combination of green and white is pretty fantastic. Their logo is pretty boring, but it is historical so I didn’t did not too many points for that. The green facemask is a great choice and I love the metallic/pearl helmet shell and decals.
Suggestions: Maybe a throwback to the mean green 80s set. I really, really liked those.

Team Colors: 10
Logos And Stripes: 8
Overall: 8.2
Total: 26.2

8. Buffalo Bills

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Full disclosure, my favorite NFL team is the BIlls. I’ve been a season ticket holder for over a decade and I really like their current uniforms. The royal blue is breathtaking. Unfortunately, there were a few missteps with the helmet when they redesigned in 2011. I really like the pearl, white shell and I believe (or is it “Billieve“) their logo is one of the best. Maybe not as iconic as others, but the red stripe is pretty recognizable. The places that hurt them though, is with the stripes and the face mask. For some reason they decided to get cute and taper the stripe in a way that was supposed to look like the red stripe on the helmet logo. Instead it just looks stupid and unnecessary. I would also like to see a blue facemask.
Suggestions: Get rid of tapered stripe and add a blue facemask.

Team Colors: 8.9
Logos And Stripes: 8
Overall: 8.4
Total: 26.3

7. Pittsburgh Steelers

steelers

Love the classic look. The single yellow stripe in the familiar city of Pittsburgh colors and the iconic one-sided logo all make the Steelers helmet one of the best in the league. They don’t need to change a thing, because they already have a design the is perfect for their city and their franchise.
Suggestions: None

Team Colors: 10
Logos And Stripes: 8
Overall: 8.8
Total: 26.8

6. Kansas City Chiefs

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A classic design that looks just like it did when they were in the AFL in the 60s. I also love that they have a red shell and have remained the only team in the league with a red shell after the Bills changed back to white in 2011. I’m fine with no stripes and I’m glad they got rid of some of the black they incorporated into their uniforms in the 90s.
Suggestions: None

Team Colors: 9
Logos And Stripes: 9
Overall: 9
Total: 27

5. San Francisco 49ers

49ers

The 49ers escaped the bottom half of this list when they switched back to a uniform that more resembled the one they wore in their Joe Montana days. It wa sa great move and it hopefully buried the black shadows and red facemask forever. The niners are back to their classic look and everything is right in the world again.
Suggestions: None

Team Colors: 10
Logos And Stripes: 9
Overall: 9
Total: 28

4. Indianapolis Colts

colts

The colts have one of the great classic looks in the NFL. Their helmet has been unchanged since Johnny U was tossing the pigskin around Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and the logo is perfect. Some would prefer a blue facemask, but I’m absolutely fine with the classic gray mask.
Suggestions: Incorporate the old horse logo into more merchandise.

Team Colors: 9
Logos And Stripes: 10
Overall: 9
Total: 28

3. Cincinnati Bengals

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The Bengals have a great helmet. The tiger stripes are one of the more memorable designs in sports. I love the combination of black and orange and the stripes really pop along with the black facemask. I think that the Bengals is definitely one of my favorite helmets of all-time. It’s just too bad they can’t seem to get the rest of the uniform right to go with it.
Suggestions: Get the rest of the uniform to match up with the greatness of the helmet.

Team Colors: 9
Logos And Stripes: 10
Overall: 9.5
Total: 28.5

2. Green Bay Packers

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We have talked about iconic logos on this list, but the Packers logo is synonymous with championships. Making it to the first two Super Bowls and having the league’s championship trophy named after your legendary coach with do that. The bright yellow and dark green look fantastic together and the nearly unchanged helmet his a classic look that is nearly unparalleled in sports. great logo, great stripes and great color.
Suggestion: None

Team Colors: 10
Logos And Stripes: 10
Overall: 9
Total: 29

1. Oakland Raiders

Raiders

The Raiders are another one of my favorite teams. I started liking them the moment i started watching football. It’s amazing that not every kid in the universe is a fan of the Raiders. Especially through the 70s and 80s when they were one of the best teams and they had legendary player, coaches and attitude. Their color scheme is perfect for football and their logo is so simple it’s perfect. It’s also one of the most iconic logos in sports. Everyone knows who the Raiders are.  It is no surprise they are on the top of this year’s list.
Suggestions: Find a city to play in and say there.

Team Colors: 10
Logos And Stripes: 10
Overall: 10
Total: 30