Ranking NFL Uniforms For The 2023 Season

As someone who loves the science of branding, I’ve always paid more attention to the look of sports teams than most people I know. Therefore, I’ve always wanted to rank NFL uniforms so here we go.

My list is based on the full set of CURRENT uniform combos of each NFL team but does not include any throwbacks. Throwbacks would not only throw off the list but also wouldn’t be fair to add for teams like the Texans and Panthers that don’t really have any. Let’s get to the list.

32. Atlanta Falcons

It’s really just horrid. I mean what can you really say. The opportunity to adjust the logo which looks a lot more silly now in the 2020’s than it did in the early 2000’s was a big miss. Exaggerating the logo on the helmet makes that decision worse obviously.

For a team with a color scheme you really can’t get wrong, sadly the team’s look in my opinion has never embraced the silver outside of facemask color which is shame. Then there’s Nike’s insistence on the bold team names for all of their recent looks that really stand out in a bad way on this and many uniforms to be mentioned.

There’s probably no worse part of the look than the awkward piping running from the underarm to the knee and the big ugly boxy numbers.

Honestly, Nike is making uniforms so bad that I want to see the contract they have with the NFL, because at this point the fact that teams keep giving them so much control given the results their getting makes me wonder if they have any other choice.

Add in the stupid rule that you have to keep your uniforms for 5 years and Nike is really fucking these NFL teams over. This look is destined for a 5 year refresh just like the majority of uniform changes since Nike took control over NFL uniforms.

The only positive thing I can say is that the red pants and sock away combo looks good in the photo and if it were up to me it would be the only combination they wore.

31. New York Jets

I could pretty much just copy everything from what I don’t like about Atlanta’s uniforms and paste it here. Obviously, the “New York” across the chest is horrible. The pointed stripe on the pants is horrible and the stripe across the shoulders is worse.

We all know the one thing that’s good about the Jets uniforms and it’s the helmets, they’re amazing. Too bad that Nike just won’t let us have nice things and ruined the helmet by sticking that logo on it.

How in the world do you go out of the way to rebrand the look of the Jets and add these pointed stripes that I assume are supposed to signify the speed and motion of a jet but not have any of that in the logo?

Lastly, another thing I’ll be saying often with these Nike re-brands, adding black where it never existed before does not make things better. It looks horrible as the outline of the numbers and it’s a silly addition to the alternates. The Jets have never worn black and their look is not improved at all by adding it to the uniform combo.

30. Washington Commanders

Simply just another epic fail. Fans had already universally rejected the digital numbers look in the Tampa Bay redesign, and have complained about the awkwardness of large team name or city name displays above numbers. What did Nike do? Throw both of those concepts into the Commanders home uniform.

For the away they decided to display “Washington” across the chest in smaller font without the top and bottom underlines as if whispering it would make it less noticeable.

Look Nike didn’t create this look but they’ve exaggerated it’s existence and just refuse to edit. It’s stubborn and it’s silly just like the insistence on adding a black alternate for every new design.

The away jersey also adds a deep blue color randomly and fades to the numbers. Essentially each uniform, home, away and alternate is unique. There’s been times that’s worked but in this case it feels like each uniform is it’s own attempt to appeal to fans.

It’s almost as if the decision makers were afraid to make one choice and stick to it. Instead each uniform represents it’s own focus group as if the true look of each design is to decide which will be the next look when this is undoubtedly refreshed in 4 years.

Speaking of that one can only a hope a new name will accompany the new look.

29. Carolina Panthers

Pictured above is the new addition to the Carolina Panther uniform combo. I never actually thought these jerseys were ugly. When I was younger I actually thought they were really cool. I especially always loved how the helmet stripes separate at an angle and come to a point.

The problem is the weird evolution of the pant stripe that has randomly morphed from an outlined stripe that came to a point to the stripe kind of just disappearing into the sock before we get to see the point. I’m just confused. Is the point still there and we just have to imagine it extends into infinity or is it gone for some reason? If it’s gone why?

At the end of the day the Panthers are rated so low because like a lot of other teams on this list they sport a look that was destined to one day not be as cool as it was when it debuted. So now the powers that be are tinkering with things that don’t need a change, a sign that they know a change is needed just like the rest of us.

That being said if and when they do make a change, stealing this fan photoshopped concept would be awesome. Lose or reduce the stripe on the side and this look would be in my top 5.

28. Arizona Cardinals

Let’s go through the Nike uniform redesign check list on this one.

  • Oversized city or team name across the chest? Check.
  • All black alternate for no reason? Check.
  • Randomly add a color that hasn’t been present in the team’s history? Check.
  • Somehow make the jersey look like an existing college team’s? Check and check!

I just don’t get it. I mean I know that fan designs are off limits. Simply because if a fan can claim you stole their design you can get sued and Nike nor the NFL wants that. However, if there was ever a NFL team redesign where you can go on the internet and find several better options made by fans it’s this one. It’s hard to not find better options and how Nike screwed up another layup I just won’t understand.

This was the perfect opportunity to go simple and classic but instead they found a way to be too simple and strayed as far as possible from what has worked in the team’s history of looks.

View how the above fan concepts combine, simplicity, classic elements and Arizona’s beloved state flag that was lost in the Cardinal’s last uniform overhaul to create the perfect look that couldn’t be further from the mind of the fools at Nike.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Truly always a dull and ugly uniform, Tampa decided to bring these back right before the 2020 season when their 5 year prison sentence was up and they could finally undo Nike’s previous disaster.

The only reason these uniforms are this high is because the red home jersey and pewter pants can sometimes randomly look cool and it reminds me of my childhood watching that Tampa 2 defense. It still isn’t actually good upon inspection.

Really the decision to go back to these uniforms was probably more about Bucs decision makers having no faith in Nike and going back to what is safe more than purposely deciding not to return to the classic creamsicle look.

That being said check out the cool fan designs that Nike would have never thought of in a million years below.

Results: Uni Watch Readers Redesign the Buccaneers' Uniforms - InsideHook

A little bit Virginia Tech but a cool mix of past and present.

26. Houston Texans

It’s not that the Texans look is ugly. It’s the fact that it’s been worn for way too long. It’s time for something new, something bold and something as cool as the logo which I like, although apparently many people want that to change too.

25. Cleveland Browns

Many people may not know this but the Bengals are the Bengals because Paul Brown wanted his team in Cincinnati to look just like the Browns. Therefore, in their early years the Bengals wore black helmets that simply said “Bengals”, orange jerseys and black pants.

Funny how things come full circle as the Browns fight for Ohio with an all-white look to rival the Bengals. Outside of looking like Oregon State Beavers it kind of works. Yet and still for me I can never and will never be a fan of the Browns look. Orange and brown are underwhelming. The look is saved by it’s classic nature which the team returned to after yet another Nike debacle.

I don’t hate it but I simply can’t love it. I don’t want any smoke from Browns fans either. To each his own on this one.

24. New England Patriots

When this was the color rush look I loved it. I loved it so much that for a second I stopped hating the team. Then this look became the primary look and honestly gets worse every year I look at it.

As an alternate to the look they had been rocking for the majority of the 2000’s it was a sweet departure to something simple and classic, yet modern. Now it just looks way too plain and the away color scheme somehow just looks awkward.

I can see a refresh happening as soon as possible.

23. Seattle Seahawks

Like my feelings about the Panthers uniforms, what is cool will eventually fade as time goes on and styles change or new styles are introduced.

The Seahawks wear Nike’s one true complete overhaul and rebrand that worked out of the gate. Everything about this look was cool and fit the moment. The subtle details like the lime green shoulder accent that comes to a point like a beak and the pants striping that represent feathers, make for a great overall look.

The team name in the left shoulder stripe is also somehow not obnoxious and the interesting uniform combinations really were a tone setter that Nike hasn’t quite got right outside of a few exceptions since.

At the end of the day though simple and classic is making a huge comeback and now all those details look like too much. The throwbacks being worn in 2023 will be a welcome change and will likely stoke the fire of a total rebrand.

22. Detroit Lions

I just have never liked these all that much. The current Lions uniforms are probably the least ridiculous of the recent Nike re-designs. At first, I kind of hated these uniforms and swore the Calvin Johnson era uniforms were better until I did a side-by-side look and determined these are better.

To me they are just awkward due to the decision to take white out of the equation with the exception of the away jersey, instead opting for different shades of grey for outlines and etc. Also it took way too long to add a white jersey, grey pants combo as the blue pants away combo was just horrible.

At the end of the day though a new look is coming for 2024 so it goes down as another Nike fail no matter how you slice it.

21. Philadelphia Eagles

This is the first uniform that was hard to rank for me. It’s not bad but I’m not sure I ever thought it was good either. There’s times that it looks kind of cool but it feels like that depends on how the team is playing or who’s wearing it. For example, watch Brian Dawkins come out of the tunnel in these bad boys and the dark green, deep grey and black accents look scary.

At the end of the day I think we can all agree that this look is fine but in the era where everyone wants the throwback a return to the Kelly green would be welcome.

20. Miami Dolphins

Alot of people will say I have this look too low.

There’s no doubt the color scheme is among the best in the NFL if not sports in general. It almost can’t look bad although Nike tried their best with the design before this one. The current design dialed back some of the unnecessary deviations from what has always worked and settled in on the classic yet modern look every fanbase seems to want.

Still, while I can compare these in Miami’s favor to most other teams, what makes this look come in at twenty is that it doesn’t compare very favorably to Miami’s history of uniforms. To me it’s a really safe, if not boring version of something that can be much better, propped up by an amazing color scheme.

19. Indianapolis Colts

As stated in the intro these rankings are best on every team’s current uniform combo. Of course the one pictured above is just an alternate that might not even exist next year. At the end of the day the Colts look isn’t 19th because of this.

It’s nineteenth because it’s bland and I hardly even have an opinion on it it’s so bland. What I can say nice about it is it’s bland in a classic way which to me doesn’t make it good but it’s not bad.

However, the new alternate is bad and is another example of shoving black where black never previously existed (also the NFL just wants to make more money off of these alternate helmets) and it’s producing a lot of fails.

18. Green Bay Packers

Like the Colts at 19, this uniform sits at 18 because I don’t hate it but I don’t love it either. At the end of the day it’s an example of something that isn’t broke and therefore doesn’t need to be fixed.

The Packers throw in alternates which in my opinion also show that there isn’t much improvement that’s possible. They’ve squeezed all of the good you can get out of this color scheme and at the end of the day it’s just classic and should never change.

17. Denver Broncos

Here’s something Nike got right. Taking the time to make sure the leg piping has an angle to it that makes the point of the stripe curve to the front of the leg on the pants invigorated this look in my opinion.

To most people this look belongs in the category with the Panthers as something that desperately needs an overhaul. I disagree.

In my opinion these uniforms remain cool. They were super cool when they debuted in the late 90’s, extremely different, new and bold and copied mercilessly but no one was ever able to capture what this look does. Not the weird former Vikings, Cardinals and Bengals looks and no college team that tried either.

The Broncos will one day change this look and I admit it’s gotten old. While I’m one of the few that still likes it I know it’s at the end of it’s days. Still I’m willing to bet that when they don these as throwbacks 15 years from now, people will appreciate them again.

16. Tennessee Titans

A Nike redesign gone right. The team name across the chest stays within the size that had been accepted for decades before Nike went overboard. There’s also team specific detail which to me is the best part of all the redesigns I actually like.

It may not be unique, but I like the points on the numbers and the overall sharpness of them which accentuates the sword logo. Another cool detail is the pants piping which is meant to be a sheath for a sword. If you don’t know that it may just seem like an unnecessary square but it’s actually made to mimic function.

My favorite detail though is how they kept the shoulder design. The Titans shoulder stripe, like the Broncos before them was a highly copied jersey detail when it first debuted and also like the Broncos it somehow never looked right outside of Tennessee. Keeping that detail but making it a sword and using two tones to create depth is just awesome attention to detail and outside of the box thinking.

They took a classic of the wacky designs of the late 90’s & early 2000’s and updated it which is so hard to do. I may be in the minority but I liked them when they came out and I still like them now.

15. Jacksonville Jaguars

None of the players above who modeled the Jags current look still play for the team but hey, it’s an organization that is usually in flux and it’s the best picture to get a full view of the many combos the Jags boast.

To me it deserves the top 15. I love it and I have loved it since day one. It took years for the team to settle into the right look since abandoning the 90’s uniforms that to me, never really needed to change in the first place.

It may have been trying to fit in the tanish gold color of the Jaguar that was causing nearly constant overhauls of the team’s uniform and this look gets rid of it all together. It opts to instead focus on the teal instead of hide it as an accent amongst black. I also love the font and size of the numbers.

In my opinion the best way to deal with an awkward color scheme is keep it simple and the best thing about the look for the team is it makes players look fast and intimidating…like a Jaguar.

14. Baltimore Ravens

My hometown team checks in at fourteen. They aren’t here because they’re my favorite team either. I don’t actually love our uniforms but they compare well to the rest of the league. They are essentially a very classic and simple look with subtle details that keep them modern even though they haven’t changed in decades.

Details like the pointed stripes on the helmet and the unique number font give the modern feel that I mentioned while the simple stripes on the home white pants feel classic. The Maryland flag on the sleeves give it that detail that can make a jersey mean a little more to it’s fans.

At the end of the day though they are uniforms that fit what has been the reputation of the team for so long. The make players look cunning and intimidating…like a Raven.

13. Chicago Bears

See. One thing about me is I respect the classics like Larry David respects wood.

I also really respect and love when a jersey fits a town and a team. Things that mean something that stand out to locals and/or the team’s history like the Bears “GSH” for George S. Halas on the left shoulder make these very classic.

However while these uniforms may be higher rated for some it’s the color scheme that makes them come in outside of the top ten for me. There’s not a whole lot to knock they just aren’t my favorites.

Regardless when it’s all said and done, the Bears wear uniforms that fit the city and the teams history. It looks like something you stomp around in…like a bear.

12. Kansas City Chiefs

Here’s another team wearing a classic look, that has only changed in the most subtle of ways because it never really needs to change.

While writing this I’ve used the words classic, simple and modern a lot. I think every one of those elements in the right mixture creates a great uniform. Add in something that connects to the history of the franchise, details that connect to the local fanbase or the team nickname and you create a real hit.

So at the end of the day I just don’t rate all of the classics in the top 10 because some of them while nice and without the need to ever change just don’t look as good as others. That’s how I see the Chiefs, nice but not as nice as others.

11. Buffalo Bills

Easy like Sunday morning. The Bills current look combines several past uniform details into something that is modern and classic. Here I go saying that again but hey it’s a good combination if you want to have a good uniform.

The red helmet would be awesome with this look but the white is great too. I also like the white collar as well. I think these would be higher if I haven’t gotten so used to them. Not that it’s time to change them but you can find yourself lacking appreciation for good things as time goes on.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers look is just cool. Extremely monochromatic but it doesn’t apologize. Great color scheme, great logo too.

They’ve never tried to do too much and therefore they’ve had no missteps from alternates to throwbacks. Even the jailhouse striped throwback look is dope.

These could be top 5 uniforms and they aren’t at ten because the Steelers are my Raven’s greatest rivals. They come in at ten because I have always and will always hate that the logo is on just one side of the helmet. Ride it until the wheels fall off Pittsburgh, the fans and media love it but I do not.

9. Dallas Cowboys

The looks the Cowboys sport are really so good that they never really need to change. You could always continue to add alternates and probably never miss because it’s just easy. It all looks good.

Despite the fact that they are one of the best looks in the league there’s one thing that make them top 10 but not top 5 for me and maybe it’s silly.

It just so happens that my favorite uniform combos they wear are the color rush white inspired by the 70’s look and the deep blue supposed home jersey that they never like to wear.

Instead the team is almost always wearing the same white jersey and blueish, silver paints combo. The helmet blue and the jersey blue aren’t even the same which I always thought was weird since I was a kid. I know there’s history and tradition packed into every detail which I like but it’s just not something I like as much as many other people.

Top 10 NFL jersey though regardless.

8. Los Angeles Rams

Here’s where I probably upset some people having the Rams current uniforms rank so highly. The beat the Steelers, Cowboys and several other beloved classic uniforms.

However, if you’ve read this far you understand I’m not bumping up the classics just for the sake of being classic. I like when a look dares to be modern and gets it right.

Now where many may disagree with me is if Nike got this one right and I understand. When I first saw the Rams new uniforms in pictures my reaction was huge miss. I still don’t love the faded numbers or the color of the yellow in the pants.

But here’s the thing, these damn jerseys look cool as hell in action. Seeing the players play in them and how the details pop on television is what makes these great. The bone jersey is extremely cool and the shiny numbers with the 3D details are dope as hell.

The Ram’s horn that never comes to a point on the shoulders looks so much better in game than in photos. On top of it all they have so many combos including white away jerseys with the classic yellow sleaves. I get on Nike a lot but these ended up being better than I initially thought.

7. Cincinnati Bengals

I don’t hate anything or any sports team as much as I hate the Bengals. That being said I’m not about be biased when it comes to talking about sports and it would take extreme bias not to put the current Bengals uniforms in the top ten.

It’s one of the best combos and looks in all of sports in my opinion. The Bengal striped helmet has always been dope to me, the new shoulder stripes are just perfect and should never change.

The all white uniform with the white helmet is the best uniform in all of sports in my opinion. I mean it’s a damn white tiger look it’s simply unfuckwithable.

Only reason this isn’t top 5, top 3 or one overall is one detail that I think throws off the whole thing. The pants stripe Bengal pattern doesn’t match any other stripes on the jersey or the helmet and on the white pants the stripes are orange with a black outline.

I’m not sure why the style and color of the stripe can’t just be the same for every combo and thankfully that gives me something to keep the Bengals out of the top spot.

6. Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders sport an all-time classic look that never really changes and probably never will and it shouldn’t. Alternates pop up here and there and they usually serve as evidence that the Raiders are already doing the best you can do with Silver and Black.

We don’t need more silver or more black or any other colors. To some this is and always will be the best in the league and I get that. The only reason it isn’t higher is my own preference.

5. New Orleans Saints

I think the only thing that looks better than the silver and black is black and gold. The Saints make this look really good and to me it’s better than the Raiders for a few reasons.

For one it looks good in several different combinations. The Saints can add more black or more gold and the combos just get better. Or, they can rock all white and gold and just accent with black and it’s cool or they can hop on the black helmet gimmick and that works too.

It’s clean, it’s classic and modern and it’s versatile. Top 5.

4. Minnesota Vikings

The most underrated uniform in the league. To the best of my knowledge not even the people of Minnesota appreciate this look enough.

The entire top 4 are the top 4 because of my preference toward clean, classic and modern looks. Not only is that the Vikings they also have subtle details that standout to make the uniform unique.

I love how the first number in every jersey has points on the top and bottom to mimic horns. I love the number font as well. I love the classic look of the shoulder stripe but how the top stripe curves into a horn shape without being an actual horn so it doesn’t look corny or too much like the Vikings going for a classic Rams kind of look.

I don’t love it as much but I appreciate how the pants stripe is a thick purple stripe with a yellow strip cutting through it. Then there’s the matte finish helmet which doesn’t always work but for the Vikings I somehow couldn’t see them without it.

Nike nailed this one. One of the cleanest uniforms ever in a color scheme that isn’t easy to work with.

3. Los Angelos Chargers

When the assignment is, take the best of what has worked from a team’s history and make it modern, Nike is at it’s best. That’s evident for every uniform refresh in the Nike era that I actually like.

Obviously they got everything right with these. To the home and away to the alternates it’s positives, not negative marks.

For most people that would mean a number one spot but not for me. The only reason these are three and not one is because in live action, when worn by the players these amazing uniforms just don’t seem to pop off the screen like one would expect.

2. New York Giants

My favorite since they became the look the New York Giants away jersey is the best in the NFL. It has a classic feel but the all red just stands out so much even though it’s extremely simple. It makes the helmet pop.

Players look fast in it for some reason and it’s just swag. The home uniform now includes a more classic look with the blue and red stripes. I just love in general how the team wears red and blue but the home uniform is accentuates blue and the away accentuates red. They can also switch it up with grey pants and not lose a beat.

Just an all around simple but cool as hell look and I love it.

1.  San Francisco 49ers

Just a damn perfect uniform. I favored the previous look that kind of hid the three stripes on the sleeves under the arm. Something about that was more intimidating of a look but even this is perfect. On top of everything else the 49ers also just have the best color scheme in the NFL.

These uniforms blend past and present, don’t try to incorporate black like the early 2000’s uniforms despite the color being in the logo and that choice allows this look to pop off the screen on Sundays.

They could have forced black into the scheme and it would have muted the look. Instead white accents and numbers with no outlines perfectly break up the red and gold.

I just can’t say one bad thing about it, not home, not away and not alternates. If you want to define what it means to have the perfect combination of a classic, yet modern look in the NFL, look up the 49ers.

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