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The criteria for best NFL uniforms tended to lean towards teams that had an established uniform tradition, while the worst consisted of teams that didn’t.
This list though is essentially uniforms that I miss seeing. They brought a unique look to the game that is no longer there.
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Whether you prefer the blue or white helmets, the Houston Oilers had a fantastic look that their successors in Tennessee have been unable to duplicate.
Powder blue is vastly underutilized in sports and the red trim really makes it pop. I’m sure it helps when you remember Warren Moon slinging the ball around the Astrodome, Earl Campbell trucking defenders, and Bum Phillips’ defenses attacking opposing quarterbacks in these numbers.
Not only that, but their logo and name were Houston (at least until the ’80s). It really is a shame that they moved.
New England Patriots
I’m a big fan of everything Bill Belichick does. That is, except for his uniform choices. Because he’s so focused on football, and rightfully so, he just doesn’t care what the Patriots wear. So they end up wearing a set that’s just…meh.
But when the Patriots trot out these beautiful red throwbacks, few teams look as good as they do. The shoulder stripes don’t overpower the uniform like the current Browns duds, and those socks…! Really, just having striped socks will move a uniform up my list.
New Orleans Saints
During the Archie Manning years, the pitiful Saints fielded some excellent uniforms. They may look very similar to today’s, but the Brees’ era can’t match up.
The current Saints use a lot of black; solid black pants, solid black socks, and until recently, extra black on their collars that made their jerseys look terrible. All that black creates a leotard effect that isn’t far off from the disasters in Jacksonville.
These old school Saints rocked gold pants that broke up the black well, in addition to…stripes! Sleeve stripes on current jersey cuts is asking a lot, but more gold would do wonders for the Saints style.
While I do think an update was needed from the Dan Marino era shadow-dropped uniforms, the Dolphins ruined their look. But it isn’t something that’s impossible to fix. What they should do is bring back their ’66 throwbacks full time.
Currently, they’re covered in turquoise and devoid of much orange to break things up. They look particularly rough when paired with the matching pants and socks.
The throwbacks, use orange trim effectively and bring a distinctive look to the league, especially when they were initially released.
When Tom Coughlin was building the Jaguars as an expansion team, he didn’t just build a powerhouse (look it up; the ’99 Jaguars were unbeatable by anyone not named Steve McNair), but he also fielded a well-dressed team.
Sure, they used a trendy color like teal (which was hot in the ’90s), but they had an identity that was all their own. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the team’s slide into obscurity coincided with changes to the brand on and off the field, especially the heavy addition of black.
Which uniforms should have made the list? Tweet @TheDeuce and @cover32_ATL. And special thanks to Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos, home of all your logo needs.
— Patrick Hatten is the Managing Editor for cover32 Falcons and a National Writer for cover32. He covers the Atlanta Falcons and the NFL. He can be followed him on Twitter @TheDeuce.