Ranking the Best New NFL Alternate and Throwback Helmets

Ranking the Best New NFL Alternate and Throwback Helmets


Alternate and throwback jerseys are always a lot of fun for football fans. Whether it's a team rocking a classic uniform from the 80's or a slick new Color Rush getup, it's always fun to see. But there's been something missing in recent years.

In 2013 the NFL implemented a "one helmet" rule — a player safety rule that didn't allow teams to use alternate helmets because of the belief that a worn-in helmet is safer than a brand new one that hasn't shaped to a player's head. This meant throwback and alternate uniforms needed to use the teams' primary helmets.

That rule has been scrapped ahead of the 2022 season, meaning fans will be treated to some great new looks. Some teams are opting to go with throwbacks for their secondary helmet and some are using slick new color schemes.

Here's a ranking of all the newly released alternate helmets.

Best NFL Alternate Helmets

6. Houston Texans Red Helmet

The Houston Texans franchise obviously doesn't have much history to draw from in choosing a potential throwback helmet, so it makes a lot of sense to keep it simple with a color scheme change for their alternate. The "battle red" uniform is going to look great, and the simple helmet change will set it off perfectly.

5. New Orleans Saints Black Helmet

The New Orleans Saints are another team keeping things simple here, swapping the usual black-on-gold for gold-on-black. It's not quite that simple, either, as the usual three-stripe pattern down the middle of the helmet has been replaced by a strip of fleurs-de-lis that let the black shine through. We're hoping to see this one paired with the Saints' black uniforms.

4. Atlanta Falcons Red Throwback Helmet

There's no denying that the Atlanta Falcons' red helmet from the 70s is one of the best in NFL history. It's clean, simple and cool. An unavoidable part of rebooting the look with a new helmet is that modern day helmets have a lot more going on as far as texture and pieces on the helmet. This is good for safety, of course, but takes something away from the minimalistic look we're used to from the classic Falcons helmets. Still, the Falcons' black jersey and red helmet throwback look will be one of the best uniforms you'll see on a football field in 2022.

3. Carolina Panthers Black Helmet

The Carolina Panthers are another team without a long enough history to have many throwback options, but they absolutely nailed their alternate. The standard Panthers helmet is solid, but it's not exactly cohesive, having that typical "logo stuck on the side of a generic helmet" look. This alternate going with a simple two-tone black-and-blue look fixes all of that. Even the Panthers' teeth are done in blue, and it's the small details like that which make this one of the best.

2. New England Patriots Throwback Helmet

I'm a sucker for throwbacks, especially when they're kind of weird. And for as much as the Patriots' red throwback jerseys are cool, the Pat Patriot helmet very much falls under "kind of weird". Whether you're a young Patriots fan who only remembers seeing Tom Brady and Randy Moss in these throwbacks or an older fan that pictures Steve Grogan in the helmet, you're going to love these ones.

1. Cincinnati Bengals White Helmet

The "white-out" look is always a great one in sports. Almost every team has white uniforms, and those almost always look best when paired with white pants and accessories in an all-white getup. The problem with this in the NFL is that most teams don't have white helmets, and even those that do have colorful logos on them. The Bengals' unique helmet design allows them to make a simple change, however, swapping the orange for white to get a perfect color-free helmet.

Honorable Mention: Philadelphia Eagles Kelly Green Helmet (2023)

The Philadelphia Eagles haven't revealed their 2022 alternate helmet, though they have said that it will be black to go with an all-black uniform. What they have revealed is much more exciting, however. The full Kelly green look will be back, including the helmet, in the 2023 season. It will be worth the wait.

Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.