And the great 2020 NFL Uniform Rankings are in! This year’s version provides the deepest look at all 32 teams’ uniforms, from their primary garb all the way to their obscure alternate jersey on alternate pants combos. Every uniform combination worn the previous season is judged, and for the seven teams that changed their looks, every upcoming 2020 combo receives the same treatment.
With the new system in place, who’s Number 1? My only hint is that the result IS different from last season’s.
Tier IV: WTF Were They Thinking?
32: Los Angeles Rams – 1 Star
I honestly swear Kevin Demoff thinks he’s God in that he finds no flaw in what’s probably the most flawed uniform in football. We can start with the gradient numbers on the home blue jerseys to the traces of the Rams’ new dumbass helmet logo situated within them.
And we can end with bone-colored striping on the home yellow pants which clashes with the white before moving onto white stripes amidst the bone-colored jerseys. What’s bone-colored? I don’t know, like a very light gray, or something.
And don’t even get me started on the helmet. If the Rams did one thing right it was they fixed their colors. That’s about the only thing they did right.
All they needed to do was to create a road set for what was their primary home uniforms and just match the royal blue and yellow. Instead, Demoff and Nike teamed up and f*cked up (excuse my language) one of the best uniform sets in football. One star for the Rams, five middle fingers for Demoff.
31: New England Patriots – 1.3 Stars
When I reviewed the new Patriots’ uniform I guaranteed my readers I’d rank the thing 32nd. That changed when the Rams unveiled a sh*t uniform design with a bone color that Uni-Watch’s Paul Lukas rightfully called ‘dishwasher.’
The Patriots’ new uniforms may be significant downgrades from the Brady era, but at least they ain’t wearing dishwasher-colored road uniforms. Honestly, if the Pats just adopted silver pants and added TV numbers to the sleeves in favor of Elvis, this uniform would go from 1 star to about 4 stars real quick.
The helmet and jersey really aren’t the issues here – it’s the freaking pants.
30: Arizona Cardinals – 1.4 Stars
The Cardinals have a lot of work to do here. Their current duds, and they’re duds, are stuck in the early-2000s Reebok era. This team has a fantastic traditional look, however, that served as their predominant uniform from 1960 to 2004. While the uniform won’t break the top-10, it’s far better than what they have now.
29: Atlanta Falcons – 1.6 Stars
I said for years the Falcons needed a change and I got my wish in 2020. Unfortunately, the new uniforms scream college football and are no better than the old uniforms. Hey, you live and you learn. Be careful what you wish for because it just might be hideous.
And the Falcons definitely proved just how hideous one can get with the overlarge ‘ATL’ atop the falcon-clawed theme font. I can’t describe it, or that’s the best way I can describe it. Just wait until they mix and match jerseys and pants were the side panels on the jersey don’t match the pants stripes. God, it’s going to look bad.
28: Tennessee Titans – 1.8 Stars
These uniforms literally look like wannabe gladiator Halloween costumes. Sword-shaped shoulder panels? Sword sheath pant stripes? Navy-blue numbers on Columbia blue jerseys? What was Amy Adams-Strunk smoking when she, Nike, and NFL Creative Properties designed these?
The Titans’ original uniforms, when not plagued with monochrome, actually didn’t look half-bad – just sort of dated with an ugly helmet logo. Instead of tweaking a decent look, they overhauled everything except the helmet logo. The result is a bottom-dweller in the uniform rankings.
27: Philadelphia Eagles – 1.8 Stars
The Eagles’ uniform screams 1990s and as more teams realize their mistake and ax their darker colored uniforms, the Eagles have held pat, despite demand from the fan base to return to the classic kelly green and silver look of years’ past.
I’ll give the Eagles credit – they ditched one bad combo, which consisted of black alternate jerseys and midnight green pants. This team has got to return to its old kelly green and silver days if they want to even sniff a three-star rating. Just get rid of the dated 1990s garb, already.
26: Seattle Seahawks – 2 Stars
These are college football uniforms, plain and simple, and they don’t belong anywhere near an NFL field. When your primary color is college navy, it should tell you everything you need to know.
Like their division rivals the Rams, the Seahawks’ all-gray combo also looks like unwashed laundry, or dishwater. Here’s the moral to the story: Never let Nike screw with your uniforms. They will kill them and then five seasons later you’ll unveil what you should’ve worn all along.
Only thing with the Seahawks is that like Tom Brady and New England, these uniforms personify the Russell Wilson era. Okay, cool, I get it.
Tier III: Tweak a Few Things
25: Cincinnati Bengals – 2.4 Stars
Orange and black are one of the best color combos in football. The tiger-striped helmet is one of the most unique if not the most unique helmet in the league.
The problem is the team’s jerseys. Even their pants and socks are okay, but I will say that I’d rather see them stick to white pants and ditch the black.
But the jerseys, with their ugly, unnecessary side panels, weird striping, and odd theme-font and shadow numbering, it completely puts a dagger in the look. They have a decent color rush jersey and would be smart to model their home, road, and alternate orange jersey after it.
24: Denver Broncos – 2.8 Stars
The team needs to base their uniform around the color rush look, with the classic jersey and helmet logo paired with the current color scheme. It actually works. Obviously, I’d like to see white pants instead of an all-orange look with the home jersey.
But as for the road look, by all means, keep the orange pants even if mono-white would look far better.
It would be a new, fresh, and unique look for the Broncos and one that masterfully blends old concepts with newer ideas.
23: New York Jets – 2.8 Stars
The Jets have a kickass base home and road look. The problem is the mono-green they like to bust out in and don’t even get me started with the mono black.
If you look closely, these uniforms are basically modernized upgrades of their 1990-1997 garb. Many pundits pan this look, but I’ll be honest – if I were just grading primary uniforms and no color rush or the weird combos teams love to bust out in, this look lands in the top fifteen.
22: Miami Dolphins – 3.2 Stars
The Dolphins would get five stars and they’d be at the top of my list if they just took both 1966 alternates and promoted them to primary status while ditching the current uniform. While the current look isn’t bad, it pales in comparison to the classic look and the modernized upgrades that have been given to the 1966 throwbacks give this uniform even more pop on the field.
Get rid of the cheap knockoff uniforms and return to tradition. I think that eventually the Dolphins will do this but it’ll take a push from the fan base. They already moved in the right direction when they unveiled the white throwback and a year prior, ditched the navy blue accents on the numbers and striping.
Now they just need to finish the job.
21: Jacksonville Jaguars – 3.2 Stars
The Jaguars have a very boring but very solid uniform that is about five cuts above the disaster they debuted in 2013 and got rid of the second they became eligible for an upgrade. The problem is that the Jags’ primary home uniform includes their black jerseys instead of teal.
What’s worse is that black is the primary color for the Jaguars which has been the case since Shad Khan bought the team in 2012. Consider this fact: New Orleans, Atlanta, Carolina, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Las Vegas all include black heavily in their color schemes.
When you have a unique color like teal, something rare not just in the NFL but in sports, why would you refuse to use it?
It makes zero sense.
20: Minnesota Vikings – 3.2 Stars
A 3.2-star rating should put the Vikings near the middle of the pack rather than where they are in the conference. The Vikings don’t have a bad uniform, but they have some horrendous combinations that they love to wear.
First off, why the all-purple? They literally look like walking grapes and the look has never been solid, dating back to the first time the Vikes wore it in 1964 for three quarters during a home game against the Detroit Lions.
Second, why is the facemask black? This makes absolutely zero sense because black appears nowhere else in the color scheme. The third mistake is the numbering font. Hey, I love Viking flags since I’m over a quarter Scandinavian, but dude, they aren’t meant to be emulated on numbers.
19: Baltimore Ravens – 3.4 Stars
The Ravens, like the Vikings, have a solid uniform set. Here’s the issue: The helmet logo is way too cartoonish for this day and age and like Minnesota, they have some ugly uniform combos. The all-purple alternate and all-purple color rush (yes, they are different uniforms) give the Ravens the same effect as the Vikings.
Another bad combo is the team’s purple on black, which emulates the 1996 Ravens. Again, it’s a bad look as there’s zero color contrast.
18: Carolina Panthers – 3.6 Stars
The Oregon Ducks of the NFL actually don’t look half bad in some of their combos. They’d be ranked much higher if they just axed the black jersey or catapulted Carolina blue to primary status. They’d probably have a 4-star rating.
While many might expect a traditionalist like myself to pan some of these strange combos, I actually like them. One reason is that when the team pairs the Carolina blue jersey with the black pants, it strongly resembles the Panthers’ prototype uniform from the early-1990s before the team ever took the field. Ditto for the white on black.
Their black on black mono is surprisingly a solid look as well, but only when worn with the blue socks. But as I said, if the team just used the Carolina blue jersey as a primary this uniform would rank far higher.
17: New Orleans Saints – 3.8 Stars
The Saints have the same problem as their NFC South rival, the Panthers. Decent uniform, good colors, bad uniform base. For the Saints, I can’t get over their fetish for wearing black pants with their black jersey. Some teams can pull off black on black. The Saints can’t.
Even worse, the team is now experimenting with white pants on a select basis. The white pants are basically an inverse of the black ones. Both colors are downgrades. Return to a sense of normalcy with the gold pants and just move on.
16: Detroit Lions – 3.8 Stars
Yet another team with a good uniform and bad combos. The blue pants have to go and they look horrific with both the blue jerseys and white jerseys. Also, their dishwater-colored color rush (why do so many teams in the NFC think this is a good look?) doesn’t do them any favors. They may have the best color scheme in the NFC, but their combos drag them down.
Get rid of the blue on blue. Get rid of the white on blue. And for the love of God, get rid of the color rush. Just give me the basic blue on silver and white on silver and you’re done.
15: New York Giants – 3.8 Stars
The Giants would rank higher if they got rid of the gray pants for good. It’s yet another example of unwashed laundry or dishwater. Dude, the NFC’s fascination with this, I swear to God….just wear the white pants with your home and road looks.
While the looks are rather boring and the 1981 to 1999 look trumps it (thank goodness they at least have it in the color rush) they’re not far from the top tier. Promote the white pants to primary status and you’re at least going to be in the Second Tier.
Tier II: Just Tiny Adjustments
14: Houston Texans – 4 Stars
Primary home? Check! Primary road? Switch the sock color to red. Red alternate jersey? Honestly, promote it to the primary; I love those red alternates. But put them with the blue socks. Red alternate with blue pants? Get rid of it. Blue on blue? Ax it. Color Rush? I can’t even read the freaking numbers!
Yeah, the Texans might be panned for wearing what many call “generic” uniforms but has anyone else ever noticed the more generic, the more longevity? Or in the case of some teams like Cleveland, the LA Chargers, and Tampa Bay, the “boring” uniforms return to the delight of the fan base?
The Texans aren’t doing anything wrong here. Just get rid of some of the combos and you’re good.
13: Buffalo Bills – 4.2 Stars
I’ll be honest: Back in 2011 when I heard the Bills returned to a classic uniform set I celebrated for a week. That was probably the year I should’ve started this blog but I had to get a stint with being a personal trainer out of my system. Then came some annoyances, starting with mono-blue.
Then came the color rush which to be honest wouldn’t look half-bad if the team paired the red jersey with their normal white pants. In fact, some mockups show this look and it looks pretty damn professional. It’s something I’d go with in a heartbeat over here.
12: Dallas Cowboys – 4.2 Stars
The Cowboys have the best helmet logo in football but their uniform combos aren’t the greatest, even if they look good on the field. The metallic pants with the white jersey need to go, and the blue jersey needs to sooner or later match the white, something that hasn’t been done since 1994. Not a big deal; they’re just annoying.
However, the team’s blue jersey on white pants combo works surprisingly well. While I didn’t like the look at first, it’s grown onto me. Another look I like is the team’s Color Rush, displaying the classic double-star jersey. I’d love to see the team pair it with the silver pants, which will flashback to 1994 when the team wore the look often.
11: Washington Redskins – 4.25 Stars
The Redskins would probably rank even higher if they kept their gold pants and striped socks. They’re far better than the burgundy and white pants and add to an already classic look the team is known for.
The gold pants and striped socks also give the uniform far more character than the burgundy or white pants, which just looks generic to me. Although I will give the Redskins credit: they don’t go mono often and they shouldn’t. So yeah, lots of credit there for holding back.
10: Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 4.4 Stars
They would’ve ranked 16th in these rankings last year but given the fact they introduced new uniforms in April 2020, they hit a ringer and catapulted to 4th. The unveiling was so successful, even their all-pewter color rush looks good. For a traditionalist like myself, that says a lot about the Bucs’ new uniforms.
The Bucs never should’ve gone all, well, Buc-wild with their uniforms in 2014 but then again, with Nike running the show teams are going to experiment with some weird stuff before coming to their senses and reverting back.
It’s almost like when some wild and crazy college kid experiments with acid during their time in a frat house before sobering up just before they graduate and head off into the real world. Next thing you know, they’re normal. Ditto can be said about the next team on this list.
9: Cleveland Browns – 4.4 Stars
When I first heard the Browns were returning to normalcy in 2020, I rejoiced and continually checked for new uniform leaks. The team didn’t just nail it, they blew it out of the water complete with striped socks on both the home and road uniform that hasn’t been seen on a regular basis since 2001.
The look never should’ve gone away and best of all, the Haslams not only knew their mistake, but they wholeheartedly took ownership of such a mistake. Now let’s hope the 2015-19 uniform remains where it belongs in the pages of history.
8: Kansas City Chiefs – 4.4 Stars
The Chiefs might be the top uniform on this list if we weren’t grading alternates. But we are, and the red on red mono just tanks this uniform. The color rush (there’s a slight difference) tanks it even further. I’m also not a fan of the mono-white. However, red on white is a ringer as is white on red.
Do NFL fans justice and just stick to the two plain combos. Trust me, they work.
Tier 1: One Adjustment Away
7: Pittsburgh Steelers – 4.5 Stars
Believe it or not, it took the Steelers about 40 seasons to find a look that worked and the uniform evolved at a snail’s pace. But in the early 1970s, they figured it out with an iconic look.
Unfortunately, that look has faded somewhat and the team italicized the numbering and changed the theme font. They also added a permanent chest patch, which I hate but I can also live with it.
The good news is that they unveiled the top uniform as a throwback so you see it once or twice a year. Also, their color rush ain’t half bad. One of the better looks in the NFL.
6: Las Vegas Raiders – 4.5 Stars
There’s not much to hate and a lot to love. For me, personally, I’ve always thought the road look was weak compared to the black on silver home uniform. But then again, black pants with the road uniform tank this look, so 4.5 stars might be the team’s ceiling.
You can’t get much more intimidating than silver and black, as is a given. Sure, the uniform is plain but it’s worked for nearly six decades so there’s zero reason to change it now. The minimalist approach works for the Raiders.
5 – Indianapolis Colts – 4.5 Stars
They’d be up there jockeying for number one if they didn’t make one huge screw up to their new road jersey. If you look closely, they added the color black to the Nike stripe on the sleeves. Okay, now you can pan me as to why I feel it’s a big deal.
But it is a big deal. This is groundbreaking. What’s next? Black outlines on the sleeve stripes? Black outlines on the numbers and pants stripes? Black socks? A black color rush? Black on the helmet stripe? The seemingly small change just opened Pandora’s box.
4 – Los Angeles Chargers – 4.6 Stars
The Chargers nailed their latest uniform unveiling and it brought me 1960s nostalgia of sunny, southern California when I spent a past life out on the coast. I honestly don’t know if I did or not but I get goosebumps every time I think of the 60s and the Chargers’ new threads definitely gave me the chills.
The only flaws here are the team’s all-navy alternate. Hopefully, they only break it out once a year. The other combos are solid, even the Air Coryell-like Color Rush is a good look. Kudos all around for the creative department with this look.
3 – Green Bay Packers: 4.75 Stars
One of the best looks in the NFL would get a five-star rating if only they wore a better pair of throwbacks. I’d prefer the 1960s Super Bowl-era look.
Okay, so I’m literally picking nits here, but the football-shaped oval looks so much better than the current oval. Also, I have a thing for striped socks, which has become a dinosaur in today’s league (hopefully Cleveland restarted the trend here). But yeah, there’s a 5-star rating waiting for Green Bay if they just make those adjustments.
2 – Chicago Bears: 4.75 Stars
My only gripe about the Bears is that they’re wearing the wrong home jersey. Their alternate orange jersey needs to be the primary to evoke more color contrast. Something I crave in a uniform.
Yeah, I know I’m in the minority here, but the color contrast just brings out the navy blue helmets so much better than the navy jerseys. It’ll never happen as these uniforms are rightfully regarded as sacred among the Chicago faithful. But when they revived the orange alternates, I wasn’t complaining.
Tier X: The Champion
1 – San Francisco 49ers: 5 Stars
Three years ago the Niners would’ve probably had something like 3.8 stars. But when they ditched their ugly all-black color rush for a throwback color rush, they catapulted. Not only did the color rush become the best alternate in the NFL, but their uniforms became the best.
They’re the only team on either the AFC or NFC list to garner a perfect score. They are the best uniforms in football.