At the time of this posting, there are 32 days until the Chicago Bears travel to Detroit to start the 2020 NFL season. Almost there Bears fans. Almost there.
This offseason has been plenty busy and unique, but with all that is going on, it feels like an eternity ago since the draft, trades and other offseason activities have happened.
You wouldn’t know it, unless you are a uniform nerd like me, but there have been a flurry of uniform updates across the league. More than I can remember in one offseason. Some were major updates, while others were more minor.
Here is a quick recap of which teams updated their uniforms heading into this season: Chargers, Rams, Falcons, Buccaneers, Browns, Washington, Patriots and Colts
With these changes, it definitely shuffles the landscape of top uniforms in the NFL. Here are my rankings for each team, including my ranking for my beloved Chicago Bears.
Fair warning, you may be surprised by the list.
32. Atlanta Falcons
What a terrible uniform overhaul. The numbers, gradient, oversized logo, all of it … I expect an update in a couple years like what happened with the Cleveland Browns.
31. Arizona Cardinals
30. New York Jets
This uniform is a year old and it never sat well with me from the beginning. It has moments, but the incorporation of black and white shoulder stripes really hold this back.
29. Washington Football Team
Long overdue. In preparation of a full team rebrand, The Washington Football Team will rely on the same color scheme, Washington logotype and helmet numbers for this 2020 season. If you are interested in other Native American mascot wrongs, check out work from Paul Lukas around this and sports in general.
28. Houston Texans
27. Los Angeles Chargers
Nice brand update this offseason, but the uniform took a couple steps too many. Unnecessary numeral update and too many color variations.
26. Cincinnati Bengals
25. Miami Dolphins
Boy, I wish the Dolphins can wear those throwbacks the whole season.
24. Carolina Panthers
This upsets me the most. The Panthers have some great elements to work with and just the execution of them are really bringing this ship down: the shoulder striping and TV numbers in particular.
23. Dallas Cowboys
22. Buffalo Bills
21. New England Patriots
The Patriots seemed to merge their color rush from years past into this uniform update. Shoulder stripes seem a bit heavy, but we will see how they look on the field.
20. New York Giants
19. Tennessee Titans
This uniform would move nearly to No. 1 for me if the numerals weren’t so thin!
18. San Francisco 49ers
Solid home and away sets, but those throwbacks are what really shine.
17. Kansas City Chiefs
16. Philadelphia Eagles
15. Green Bay Packers
These uniforms possibly have gone through the least amount of changes in NFL history (don’t fact check me). What better way to showcase the classic threads than a QB sack?
14. Cleveland Browns
So glad they “updated” (ahem, reverted) back to this. The last set was a dumpster fire that wouldn’t go out .. although it seems Atlanta is carrying that torch.
13. Jacksonville Jaguars
The NFL has a five-year waiting period when a team can update their uniform, and the Jacksonville Jaguars seem to never miss the opportunity to do so. They have landed with something this last time around that should stick for a while. Solid.
12. Denver Broncos
Great numerals, color scheme, bronco, throwback, but those awful side panels ruin it.
11. New Orleans Saints
Clean and classic, and like some other teams, the throwback is quite nice.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Like the Browns, the world has been waiting for the Bucs to update their uniform. The waiting was worth it, but the eyes stung for six straight years. Don’t mess this up, Tom Brady.
9. Minnesota Vikings
One of the more unique number styles in the NFL (double-digit gets horns), plus a nice helmet that recently got a color match to the jersey (finally).
8. Las Vegas Raiders
Tradition wins here.
7. Los Angeles Rams
Innovation may prevail here? The Los Angeles Rams have my attention with their rebrand. While the gradient can take a hike down Sunset Boulevard, the rest is intriguing.
6. Seattle Seahawks
Fun and interesting when these were first released, and still so now.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
@NicholasMoreano, see anything familiar with the throwback uniform?
4. Indianapolis Colts
Clean and somewhat boring were the Colts uniforms up until the offseason. You may miss it if you blink, but the Colts upgraded their uniforms with tweaks to their primary blue, jersey numerals and some logos.
3. Baltimore Ravens
I’m not just jumping on the Lamar Jackson bandwagon here, these uniforms are great from helmet to cleat. This is one of the few teams that are able to match their aggressive and tough production on the field to the look of their uniform.
2. Chicago Bears
I may be biased, but I am not alone knowing these uniforms have stood the test of time and temptation for “modern” updates. Chicago and Green Bay have been pretty status quo on their uniforms, but Chicago at least has the decency to upgrade jersey material/cut (Nike). This improves performance, but also the look. The variety Chicago offers is what gets me. There are the home and away standard uniforms, but the two alternate (orange and classic) uniforms bring it all together. Even the standard uniform can get dressed up with simple helmet changes (facemask color and white decal). Proud to don any of these, any day.
1. Detroit Lions
You made it to my No. 1 NFL uniform and are possibly puzzled as to why it must end this way. A division rival .. with better jerseys than the Chicago Bears? Yes, it is sadly so. The Detroit Lions updated to their current uniform back in 2017 and made the most of it. Did they go crazy on the update? Nope. They leaned into the Detroit “Motor City” vibe in the update with class and timelessness. Rawr.
There you have it, in my book the Lions upset the Bears for top spot in uniform rankings. I hope this does not translate to the field.
As this season starts, I will keep a close eye on the new uniforms that will be hitting the field for the first time. Photo shoots and mockups are a good representation, but are not the “real” thing. The real measure is seeing it on the field, players catching the pigskin, throwing a block, celebrating a touchdown.
I hope this is a nice reprieve from all that is happening in the world. Stay safe.
Where do you have the Chicago Bears? How about some of the other teams’ rankings? Leave a reply for your take!