A virtual draft, a global pandemic and multiple groundbreaking trades across the board – all of these and yet none have quite brought the raw emotion out of a fan-base like a change of uniform has this off-season.
The Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Cleveland Browns, Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have all opted for completely new strips whilst the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts both unveiled some tweaks ready for the 2020 campaign.
So, with that said, what else is there left to do than make an article grading them all and have every man and their dog furiously disagreeing with the marks?
Los Angeles Chargers
The real battle of Los Angeles has been won by the Chargers this off-season.
With both sides moving into the incredible SoFi stadium in time for the 2020 kick-off, it was the perfect time to usher in a new era at both ends of LA.
Chargers released four different jerseys with six different alternate full strips and added player numbers to the helmets in what proved a welcome addition to the majority.
- Bigger bolts and updated fonts souped up to be the sleeker, sharper, more visually refined.
- Re-balanced to symbolise speed, power, constant forward motion.
- Revival of the original 1960’s helmet numbers and one colour outlines.
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams wanted to do something different to mark a new era at a new stadium and well, they certainly succeeded wit the ‘different’.
After the new logo reveal went down like a lead balloon, the uniforms needed to be on point but sadly for the Rams they are now known as the ‘Ikea team’ to meme pages everywhere.
They aren’t awful but they are ruined by unnecessary white on bone and XFL-esque numbers.
- Bone inspired by the colour of a Rams horn and the sands of LA.
- Metallic helmets.
- Raised reflective blue numbers (bone).
- Gradient yellow numbers (royal blue).
Not everyone’s favourite but the Cleveland Browns new uniforms are a significant upgrade on their previous and they bring a new simplistic clean look with them.
Inspiration for the kits was taken from some of Cleveland’s memorable championship winning squads and they will hope that winning mentality rubs off on the current crop.
- Inspired by the AAFC and NFL champion squads of the 40s, 50s and 60s, the Kardiac Kids and the team’s memorable run through the mid-80s.
- Brown jerseys with white numbers and white jerseys with brown numbers.
- Removal of stripes on the pants and jerseys of the colour-rush uniforms.
One of the teams to merely tweak their uniform rather than completely redesign them, the Indianapolis Colts have made some subtle but effective changes theirs.
The Indianapolis blue and white compliment each other brilliantly and they are only denied top marks due to the fact this wasn’t a complete redesign.
- New ‘Indiana’ secondary logo.
- New primary word-mark.
- Tweaked number design.
New England Patriots
Despite not having a full redesign as such, the New England Patriots have opted to change their primary uniform for the first time in 20 years.
The traditional home jersey has been replaced with the colours that were that of the alternate and the traditional away jersey has been given a solid, much needed makeover.
It was an upgrade that was due and it certainly brings a more modern look to what is the start of a new era in New England.
- Strong coloured stripes on shoulders.
- Modern upgrade on number font (first time since 2000).
- Blue on blue home uniforms.
- White on blue road uniforms.
Atlanta Falcons redesigned their uniforms for the first time in 17 years and they probably wish they hadn’t done.
The colours of Atlanta are really nice and work well together but the gradient of red leading into black and the in your face ‘ATL’ certainly do not.
- Black on black primary home colours.
- White on white road jerseys.
- “ATL” wording above numbers.
- Gradient to reflect “a city constantly on the rise”.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
One franchise that can do no wrong at this moment in time is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
After signing a certain quarterback and tight-end among other positive moves this off-season, the Bucs have even managed to nail their uniform redesign.
The change in colour scheme sees Tampa Bay return to their Super Bowl era look, something they will be hoping to replicate going into 2020.
- Trimmed numbers as they were between 1997-2013.
- Return to “Twill” font, also from that era.
- Updated logotype mark.
- The words “Tampa Bay” and the drop shadow are now in pewter and the word “Buccaneers” is in the original darker red.
What do you make of the seven new uniforms in this year’s NFL? Do you agree with our grades? Let us know @UK_Pigskin.