Throwback NFL helmets we want to see in 2022
Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Throwback NFL helmets we want to see in 2022

With the NFL deciding to allow alternate color helmets starting with the 2022 season, it opens up a plethora of opportunities for teams to create new looks or bring back some of the old classics. The NBA, NFL, and Major League Baseball have already embraced alternate looks, styles, and color palettes, this ruling will bring the NFL into the fold and could possibly bring us some brand new looks (white Bengals helmets, the ill-fated black Saints helmets, or possibly teams embracing a silver, gold or white alternative).

For the time being, let's concentrate on all the great old looks that teams could now bring back. When the NFL celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1994, teams started to wear throwback jerseys and helmets and, with sports throwbacks becoming a fashion trend at the time, it became a hit with fans. For nearly the next two decades, teams would sport some old uniforms and helmets to lean into nostalgia ... and to sell a bit more merchandise. In 2013, the league still allowed alternate jerseys but outlawed changing the color of the helmets due to safety concerns.

The league has reversed that ruling and, with safety protocols still in place, is allowing teams to show off their historic garb. Here are some old-school looks that we hope teams will be bringing back.

 
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Creamsicle Buccaneer

Creamsicle Buccaneer
Markus Boesch, Getty Images

Some things become trendy due to irony, and the Buccaneers' Creamsicle jerseys certainly fit that bill. Those jerseys, which came into the league with Tampa Bay's expansion franchise in 1976, weren't made fun of by opponents and are associated with some of the worst football in NFL history. Twenty years later, the team drastically altered their look to the pewter and red look of today. Nostalgia for the old look has ramped up over the years and as the Bucs have won two Super Bowl titles, fans fondly look back to the days when things weren't so good. We need to see Tom Brady wear the Creamsicles!  

 
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Pat the Patriot

Pat the Patriot
Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Speaking of Tom Brady, he's worn the Pat the Patriot throwbacks a few times while with New England. Similar to the Buccaneers, the old white helmets with Pat ready to snap a football, reminds us of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s when the Bucs weren't known for winning six Super Bowls. 

 
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White Cowboys helmet

White Cowboys helmet
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Typically you wouldn't want to mess with the Dallas Cowboys helmet -- one of the most well-known logos in American sports -- but the expansion era white helmets with the blue star are a nice, simple throwback. 

 
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Steelers' go for gold

Steelers' go for gold
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Just like the Dallas Cowboys, the Pittsburgh Steelers' helmet is one of the most iconic uniforms in sports. Still, even the most well-known unis get some alternate versions thrown in. For the Steelers, these gold helmets are sharp. First worn in 1962 when the Steelers first put their logo on their helmets (fun fact: back then, it only said "Steel" and not "Steelers"), this version was brought back during throwback games in the 2000s. 

 
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Bills dynasty look

Bills dynasty look
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Though they didn't win one, the Buffalo Bills' run of four straight Super Bowl appearances was one great team feats of the last half-century, yet that look has all but hibernated. Who cannot look at those red helmets with the blue buffalo leaping and not think of Jim Kelly slinging the ball to Andre Reed while Bruce Smith terrorized opposing quarterbacks? If you were associated with the Bills organization, why wouldn't you want to go back to that? 

 
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Orange Crush with the Denver "D"

Orange Crush with the Denver "D"
Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Sure, the Broncos three Super Bowl titles have come while wearing their current darker blue helmet with the futuristic white horse, but the lighter blue helmets with the "Denver D" had some good times in Mile High Stadium. John Elway led Denver to three Super Bowl appearances in four years wearing that helmet and their Orange Crush jerseys were iconic in their time. Fun fact: Around 1976 and 1977, you could see Broncos players wearing two different shades of blue in the same game.

 
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Denver's Crazy horse

Denver's Crazy horse
The Denver Post via Getty Images

Another option in Denver is the "crazy horse" helmet of the mid-1960. It was an orange helmet whose logo looked like a horse that was:

*Learning to walk
*Beaten by his "caregiver"
*Trying to stop running before falling off a cliff

Whatever it was doing, it was a funky logo that should live on in some way.  

 
8 of 18

Chargers' (not) powder blues

Chargers' (not) powder blues
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

I may be one of the few people in the world that prefer the Chargers' old navy blue helmets to the powder blues. Not to say I don't like the white helmets they currently use, but the blue helmets with the gold lightning bolt (or the white one) bring back memories of Dan Fouts slinging the ball during the Air Coryell days, their lone trip to the Super Bowl in 1994-1995, and LaDainian Tomlinson running all over San Diego. The team still uses the color in one of their alternate jerseys, making this throwback helmet a must.

 
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Falcons' red helmets

Falcons' red helmets
Todd Kirkland/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Falcons' original red helmets bring a candy-coated splash of color to Atlanta's mostly black look. For the first 25 seasons of Falcons football, the red helmet was first paired with black jerseys before the team went with red shirts in the 1970s. After the team went full black in 1990, the red helmets have only come back on very special occasions. With the NFL's new rule, Atlanta needs to show off their red lid much more often.

 
10 of 18

Silver Seahawk

Silver Seahawk
Owen C. Shaw/Getty Images

Like the aforementioned Buccaneers and Patriots, the old Seahawks helmets represent a time prior to their winning ways with an updated look. The silver Seahawks helmet brings back images of Steve Largent catching passes all over the old Kingdome. In 2001, Seattle not only changed the helmet to a navy blue with a meaner-looking seahawk but got ready to move from the AFC to the NFC. The "AFC era" helmet would look groovy on Russell Wilson's head as he's scrambling around.

 
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Jets' white helmets

Jets' white helmets
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Okay, the Jets are just into their third season wearing their Gotham Green helmets, but that doesn't mean the white helmets they previously used shouldn't make an appearance. With most Jets fans still owning the old apparel, going back to the 2000s style will be familiar and cozy for the ones still getting used to the shiny green duds the team currently uses. 

 
12 of 18

Houston Oilers

Houston Oilers
Owen C. Shaw/Getty Images

I find it a shame that the Houston Oilers iconic helmet and uniform set have essentially been dead for years. The baby blue oil derrick deserves to be back in the NFL! Technically the Oilers history and logo belongs to the Tennessee Titans, but they don't bother using any of it. The Houston Texans don't have access to it, but I would love it if they could be able to wear these helmets for their fans and give them a flashback to the "Luv Ya Blue" days of the Astrodome.  Better yet, the two franchises should just share the history and give us more Oiler memories.

 
13 of 18

Houston Oilers: Blue edition

Houston Oilers: Blue edition
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Better yet, let one of the franchises (Titans, Texans) use the traditional Oilers helmets while the other gets these baby blue classics. 

 
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Philly's Kelly green

Philly's Kelly green
David Madison/Getty Images

By the NFL's current rules, technically the Eagles couldn't bring back their Kelly green helmets. The team went with a darker green about 25 years ago but the Kelly green look of the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s is still very popular. That little tweak of green would be a welcome addition to Sunday afternoons. 

 
15 of 18

Eagles green wings

Eagles green wings
Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sometimes a really old franchise just needs to go with a raw, old-school look with their uniform from time to time. The Philadelphia Eagles wore the white helmets with the green wings for just a couple of seasons in the early 1970s, but it is a contrast that works. 

 
16 of 18

Colts' blues

Colts' blues
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts have one of the most simple, clean, and traditional jersey and helmet combinations in the NFL. Their blue throwbacks enhance that look and really bring out the, well, color blue in their look. The one drawback is the two horseshoes on the back, which makes the helmet look a bit clunky (especially with all the stuff that sits on the back of helmets already). Move the horseshoe logo to the normal spot and we have a deal.

 
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Titans whites

Titans whites
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Titans have only had their current blue helmets for a couple of seasons, but it wouldn't be a bad idea if they could use the old white ones every once in a while. There isn't much difference between the two aside from the color and the stripe down the middle, but it would be nice to see an NFL team alternate between two colored helmets -- similar to what some college programs do. 

 
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Washington's yellow helmets

Washington's yellow helmets
Nate Fine/Getty Images

Obviously, this one is a bit trickier to pull off due to the Washington Football Team's detachment of their former nickname and Native American themes. The franchise still has the same uniforms and is intending to stick with the burgundy and gold colors whenever they get a new name. So while the feather on this helmet would likely have to go, and the "R" would probably not be a good idea, the team could still find a way to flaunt these throwback lids. Maybe a "W" instead of the "R" could work? Maybe use jersey numbers in the circle like their current helmets? Maybe put their placeholder logo in there? The yellow/gold helmet is a strong look for the team and pretty much the only throwback that is still appropriate. Find a way to bring it back.

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