Nike NFL Uniforms: Grades, Photos and Analysis for Every Team

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2012

Nike NFL Uniforms: Grades, Photos and Analysis for Every Team

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    After weeks of anticipation, the NFL finally revealed its new uniforms and accessories from Nike. The NFL had a good partnership with Reebok for the past several years after a fiasco with Puma, but it was time to move on and Nike proved why it continues to be the leader in sports apparel.

    While some teams made sweeping changes to their jerseys, other remain largely the same, but all of them have a different look in some respect thanks to Nike's sleek design. There is no denying that they have a newer and more modern look than Reebok's jerseys, and that already has fans excited.

    Nike has done some interesting things with uniforms in college football already, and whether you love them or hate them, there is no question that the new NFL jerseys are quite innovative. Not only will they provide players with a new, streamline look, but they will do the same for fans as well.

    Not everyone is going to understand the excitement over uniforms, but the look of a team has a lot to do with its identity and the way fans relate to them. These uniforms represent the way your favorite team will look when they step on the field to open the 2012 season, and that makes them relevant.

    Here are my grades for each and every new Nike uniform following today's unveiling.

Arizona Cardinals

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    The Cardinals' uniforms didn't undergo many changes, but they already had a pretty modern appearance to begin with. The slimmer look should do them justice in 2012.

    Grade: A

Atlanta Falcons

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    Aside from the fit of the jersey there isn't much new to see here. The Falcons have had this look for a while, and although it may be unspectacular, it gets a boost with Nike's new features.

    Grade: B

Baltimore Ravens

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    The Ravens' uniforms have largely gone unchanged since the start of their existence. Nike kept the integrity and tradition of their threads while making them look a bit more sinister.

    Grade: B+

Buffalo Bills

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    The Bills just changed their uniforms last season so Nike wasn't able to do much thanks to the NFL's five-year rule in terms of uni changes. Even so, Buffalo will take the field in style this year.

    Grade: A

Carolina Panthers

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    The Panthers are another team that has maintained the same color scheme since joining the league. The streamline look will make quarterback Cam Newton appear to be even more of a superhero than he already is. 

    Grade: B

Chicago Bears

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    The Bears have always been a team that values tradition, so it's no surprise that their uniforms follow suit. Nike has done a nice job making a classic look more modern. 

    Grade: B+

Cincinnati Bengals

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    The Bengals have always had a look ahead of their time dating back to the introduction of stripes on their helmets. The dark, aerodynamic design meshes perfectly with the iconic helmet.

    Grade: A

Cleveland Browns

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    There isn't much that can be done with a brown jersey. Cleveland's uniforms look like they stayed truer to form than any other.

    Grade: C+

Dallas Cowboys

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    As the only team that regularly wears white at home, the Dallas Cowboys march to the beat of their own drum. Their Nike jersey is pretty much the same, but they get bonus points for being different.

    Grade: B+

Denver Broncos

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    Denver Broncos fans have plenty to be excited about this season between the Peyton Manning signing and the unveiling of some sweet new uniforms. The orange jersey looks great and should sell incredibly well in No. 18 this offseason.

    Grade: A

Detroit Lions

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    The Detroit Lions recently tweaked their uniforms to make them a bit more modern, so Nike couldn't change much. The silver and blue combination has always been a favorite of mine, though, and it looks great with the new design.

    Grade: A

Green Bay Packers

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    It was a given that the Green Bay Packers were going to keep the same look and that is certainly the case here. Nike did a nice job of keeping the integrity of the uniform while giving it a new-school feel.

    Grade: B

Houston Texans

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    The Texans are a team on the rise and they have the uniforms to match their ascent. Houston has maintained the same look since its inception, and it works extremely well with Nike's new design.

    Grade: B+

Indianapolis Colts

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    The Indianapolis Colts have a nice, classic look that has served them well, and Nike kept that intact. Regardless of how good the jerseys look, there are sure to be plenty of them sold this offseason with "Luck" emblazoned on the back.

    Grade: B

Jacksonville Jaguars

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    When the Jacksonville Jaguars changed up their uniforms last season I was unsure what I thought of them, but now I'm a big fan. The teal color is one that isn't often seen and it really stands out in Nike's sleek design.

    Grade: A

Kansas City Chiefs

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    There are surprisingly few teams in the NFL that utilize a solid red color, but the Kansas City Chiefs do it well. Not much has changed with their uniforms, but they look very bold and will surely stand out.

    Grade: B+

Miami Dolphins

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    The Miami Dolphins have always been outside the box when it comes to their uniforms and that will continue to be the case. Nike has done a fine job of making colors pop and the Dolphins' jerseys are a great example of that.

    Grade: A

Minnesota Vikings

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    The Minnesota Vikings made some tweaks to their uniforms a couple years ago and were ahead of their time in terms of design. They seem tailor-made for Nike and will look better than ever in the 2012 season.

    Grade: A

New England Patriots

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    The New England Patriots have an aesthetically-pleasing color combo of navy and silver, and Nike did well to play off of that. They should have a dark, menacing look that will only add to their mystique.

    Grade: A

New Orleans Saints

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    The New Orleans Saints may be in hot water because of the bounty scandal, but at least their uniforms are cool. A subtle change was made with some gold on the shoulders and it brings the look together.

    Grade: A

New York Giants

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    The New York Giants may be the defending Super Bowl champions, but they have one of the plainer looks in football. While Nike spiced things up a bit, that will still be the case this season.

    Grade: B-

New York Jets

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    Gang Green always has a distinct look out on the football field and Nike seems to have accentuated that. The New York Jets may not have had the greatest offseason, but their uniforms are sure to be a hit.

    Grade: A

Oakland Raiders

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    Few teams in sports can be recognized based purely on their colors, but the silver and black can. That, of course, is the Oakland Raiders, and while their look has become a bit modernized, it will predominantly remain the same.

    Grade: C+

Philadelphia Eagles

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    The Philadelphia Eagles employ a different shade of green than any other team in professional sports and that helps them stand out. Nike took notice of that fact and used it to their advantage.

    Grade: B

Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Few teams have a longer and more storied history than the Pittsburgh Steelers, and their black and yellow uniforms have a lot to do with it. Nike made the right call in keeping things almost exactly the same.

    Grade: B+

San Diego Chargers

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    The San Diego Chargers made a huge uniform improvement a couple seasons ago and Nike has taken notice. The sleek design and lightning bolt decals play well off each other.

    Grade: A

San Francisco 49ers

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    The San Francisco 49ers went back to their original look a couple seasons ago and it was a spectacular move. Nike may be trying to employ a futuristic approach with the uniforms, but they still kept the integrity of the Niners' threads.

    Grade: A

Seattle Seahawks

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    No team underwent a bigger transformation than the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks have an interesting look that is somewhat reminiscent of the Oregon Ducks, a college team that has donned a number of different Nike uniforms in recent years.

    The primary color for the home jersey is navy blue, but the shocking, lime-green color plays a prominent role as well. In addition to that, the numbers appear to be textured which makes them stand out.

    The Seahawks' previous jerseys were nothing to write home about, so I would call the new Nike jerseys an improvement. It might take some time to get used to them, but they have a fun, modern look.

    Grade: B+

     


     


St. Louis Rams

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    It's difficult for me to put my finger on exactly what has changed with the St. Louis Rams' uniforms, but they simply look better. It appears as though there is a darker blue that makes the gold pop on the uniform and especially on the helmet.

    Grade: A

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a pretty nice color contrast with red and dark gold, and Nike capitalized on that. The jersey looks the same essentially, but the helmet seems to be a bit darker and it pulls the look together.

    Grade: B+

Tennessee Titans

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    The Tennessee Titans have done some interesting things in their team history as far as jerseys go, but my favorite has always been the baby blue jersey with navy blue shoulders. That will be the main home jersey this season and it looks fantastic.

    Grade: A

Washington Redskins

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    The years continue to go by, but the Washington Redskins' uniform pretty much stays the same. Nike made the burgundy jersey and helmet stand out, but the 'Skins won't look too different this season.

    Grade: B