The 2002 NFL Season kicked off with some serious changes revolving around the NFL landscape. You may recall a previous article on the NFL’s 2002 Division Realignment, so if you haven’t had the opportunity to check that article out, feel free to click on the link above.
So, now that we expanded to 32 teams, 2002 kicked off an era of vast uniform changes, which I’ll explain in other articles regarding the following:
- Monochromatic Uniforms
- Third Jerseys
- NFL Color Rush
Yes, the Helmet and Jersey Stop is always hard at work here, and today, I’m putting it into overdrive covering all thirty-two NFL teams for the first time in this helmet design series.
Ready for this?
Okay, let’s go.
Couple changes here. The Patriots, if you notice, have adopted a darker version of Flying Elvis and darkened the shade of red slightly. The Bills have a slightly different helmet, adding nickel and navy into the helmet stripe. I specifically located one that’s turned in slightly for the next few posts so the reader can get a decent visual here.
Alright, please welcome the Houston Texans, everyone. Notable fact regarding the Texans is that their helmets were originally going to be white. However with the official uniform unveiling, they threw the NFL a curveball and have since donned the navy blue.
Like their cross-town brethren, the Jets, the Giants threw back to an earlier era. The blue shell is lighter and more metallic, with the old lowercase ‘ny’ script taking the sides of the helmet.
New shade of gold and slightly tweaked logo for the Saints.
Gold helmet stripes for the Rams, which would become synonymous with their stay in St. Louis. The Seahawks return to the NFC West after spending 25 seasons in the AFC West and redesign their entire uniform, featuring the infamous ‘gunmetal’ blue. The second image was the proposed helmet the team planned to wear for their home games before the NFL shot the idea down, forcing the Seahawks to choose between silver or blue in a fan vote.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 27
Philadelphia Eagles: 10
The Buccaneers met the Eagles seeking to earn their first Super Bowl appearance for their first appearance in team history while the Eagles sought their first Super
Bowl appearance since 1980. The Bucs took a 17-10 lead going into the half and never looked back, clinching a Super Bowl berth while in Philadelphia Lore the game became known as Black Sunday.
Despite a strong start from the Eagles in which they scored during their opening drive, the Bucs responded with 10 unanswered. The Eagles knotted the game up with a field goal but the Bucs went on to score once more before the end of the half, taking a 17-10 lead.
With a minute left in the third quarter, the Bucs opened the game up with a touchdown and leading 24-10 before a final field goal sealed the game.
Tennessee Titans: 24
Oakland Raiders: 41
In an offensive showing, the red-hot Raiders looked good during the opening quarter, taking a 14-7 lead before a trading of blows entered the second with each team putting 10 on the board, leading to a Raiders’ 24-17 advantage at the half.
A botched punt, the Raiders took good field position in the third which led to a field goal, allowing them to take a 27-17 lead before the Titans responded with touchdown, cutting the deficit to 3 with the score 27-24. The Raiders responded with another long drive and took a 34-24 lead before taking full control with yet another touchdown drive in the fourth quarter.
This has been one of the more significant AFC Championship Games through the 2018 season. It was the last AFC Championship that featured neither the Steelers, Colts, Patriots, Ravens, or Broncos. It was also the last playoff game to be played in the O.Co Coliseum as well as the final playoff game featuring the Raiders until 2016.
Super Bowl XXXVII
Oakland Raiders: 21
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 48
It was a Super Bowl that featured the NFL’s #2 offense in points for and #1 defense in points allowed battling for NFL supremacy. After a defensive first
quarter, the Bucs jumped ahead in the second, taking a 20-3 lead at the half. The Bucs would increase their lead in the 3rd to 34-3 before Oakland responded with a touchdown and failed 2-point conversion to cut the deficit at 34-9.
Throughout the 4th, the Raiders mounted a comeback, with two more scores, with the score now 34-21 by the middle of the fourth. Two pick sixes sealed the deal and the Bucs took their first Super Bowl in team history. This is also the most recent Super Bowl appearance for both teams.