Power Ranking Each NFL Helmet for 2012
With Nike taking over the manufacturing of NFL jerseys and helmets each team had a chance to redesign their look this offseason. Only the Seattle Seahawks chose to make a significant change to their look.
This ranking will look at where the Seahawks now rank in terms of helmet design.
Disagree on where some teams rank? Let me know in the comments section.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars
Terrible color scheme and no personality. Jaguar on the helmet could be mistaken for any number of spotted wild feline—if they had a teal tongue. I have never heard a single person say they liked the way the Jaguars helmet looks.
31. Baltimore Ravens
Most teams go for either a logo or lettering—but not both. The Ravens ignored conventional wisdom and have a mish-mashed look that resembles something a child might put together.
30. Carolina Panthers
The color scheme for the Panthers is bad—not as bad as the Jaguars but still noteworthy. What really helps bring down the Panthers helmet in the rankings is that inexplicable branched line down the middle. That line should either be removed entirely or go straight back without branching out. It would improve the look dramatically.
29. Houston Texans
With a name like the Texans the design people did not have a lot to work with. They ended up with a disjointed pseudo-Texas-shaped one-eyed bull's head. The real travesty is the city of Houston used to be home to one of the all-time greatest helmets—the Houston Oilers' oil derrick.
28. Tennessee Titans
The Tennessee Titans used to be the Houston Oilers—who I just mentioned as having one of the best helmets of all time. The new name and look keeps similar colors, but a logo that has little to no connection to a Titan. Very boring.
27. New York Jets
The Jets look reeks of desperation. Desperation to have a classic look—that just fails. Very boring and not a classic.
26. Philadelphis Eagles
The big problem with the Eagles helmet is that if you did not know any better you would not know it was the wing of an eagle. If you have an animal mascot you should actually be able to tell it is that animal on the helmet immediately. The Eagles helmet just looks like any ordinary bird wing.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers
I feel like this is my first really controversial selection so I need to explain. The Steelers helmet has one glaring problem that makes it tumble down this list. The other side of the helmet you see above is just black. It is the only helmet in the NFL that is not a mirror image on the other side. If the logo you see above was on both sides the Steelers helmet would skyrocket up the list. As is it fails for lack of symmetry.
24. New York Giants
The Giants helmet suffers from the same problem as the Jets helmet—just to a lesser degree as it is less busy looking. It is amazing that the Yankees and Mets can pull off such a simple and classic look on their hats while the Jets and Giants fail by trying to hard and coming up short.
23. Chicago Bears
The Bears have a classic color scheme. The problem is that their logo is boring and a rip off of the Cincinnati Reds "C" design. Sure they are different colors, but that is not different enough for me.
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The color scheme is sharp. The logo is well done. It just does not feel right though. I grew up with the Creamsicle Buccaneers look. You could argue it was ugly—but I feel like it was so ugly that it became beautiful again.
21. Green Bay Packers
I know the Packers have one of the most classic looks in the NFL. However, the look is boring and the helmet does not have anything to do with a "Packer." Awesome franchise but boring helmet design.
20. San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers have a great color scheme, but a boring logo. I am sure you have noticed by now that teams featuring "letter logos" do not rate very high in my book.
19. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons have a nice color scheme and a falcon that hides the letter "F" cleverly as well—as opposed to the sloppy and overt Ravens look.
18. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs have the best helmet design that prominently features lettering. The arrowhead that surrounds the lettering is done really well. Decent color scheme as well.
17. Seattle Seahawks
Finally we get to the Seahawks new look—and it is smack dab in the middle of the rankings. Honestly, I felt the changes were much ado about nothing. Some slight color changes, but as a whole it looked really similar. I think the best Seahawks helmets ever featured the gray background, but the new look is a decent one.
16. Detroit Lions
The Lions made a change to their helmet in recent years that made them climb up the rankings. The lion used to be more blob-like. Some subtle changes were made to actually make him look more like the king of the jungle. The result was a much better-looking helmet.
15. Denver Broncos
The Broncos have a solid color scheme and a logo that makes you actually think of their mascot. Solid, but certainly not spectacular.
14. Buffalo Bills
The Bills helmet features a nice crisp color scheme. Only one small issue holds their helmet back from elite status—that random red streak going through the buffalo. I cannot decide if the red streak is cheesy or just plain dumb. It does not ruin the helmet, it just hurts it a bit.
13. Washington Redskins
The Redskins have a unique and bold color scheme. I also think the logo is a tribute not an insult to Native Americans. Opinion is split on that last point, but that is the beauty of opinions. I think the helmet is both beautiful and classic.
12. New England Patriots
The Patriots helmet gets too much flack for not being as good as the retro "Pat the Patriot" look. While the retro helmets are superb, it would be unfair to knock the current ones too much as they are so incredibly well done in their own right.
11. San Diego Chargers
The Chargers went back to a white helmet several years ago—and it made them go from good to great. The lightening bolt across the top of the helmet is a really great logo.
10. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals helmet depicts a great rendition of the mascot with a menacing look on its face. Very crisp-looking helmet.
9. Oakland Raiders
The Raiders start us off in the elite category. It just keeps getting better from here. The silver and black color scheme, the eye-patched raider and the shield background with "Raiders" spelled out across the top. This is what a helmet should look like. Too bad Raiders fans have not had as beautiful a product on the field in recent years.
8. New Orleans Saints
The Saints helmet features an awesome color scheme and a fleur-de-lis. The fleur-de-lis is an awesome tribute to the French history in the city of New Orleans. Technically it is a stylized lily, but it looks more like a sharp anchor. Fits the city of New Orleans perfectly.
7. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys have one of the most iconic helmets in all of the NFL. The color scheme is sharp and the star logo is simple yet well done. The only minor issue is that if you showed the helmet to someone who knew nothing about sports and gave them a list of Dallas pro sports teams they might think the helmet was for the Dallas Stars. The star connection to a cowboy is not a deep one.
6. Miami Dolphins
Unlike the Cowboys, there would be no doubt when looking at this helmet for a non-sports fan what this mascot would be. There is something about the Dolphins helmet featuring a dolphin wearing a helmet that is just awesome. The color scheme is classic Miami as well.
5. Cincinnati Bengals
Why is the Bengals helmet so awesome? It does not have lettering and it does not need a picture of a tiger to get its message across. The color scheme for the team name is obviously perfect as well. So subtle and yet so well done.
4. Cleveland Browns
The Browns have a helmet that you either love or loathe. Count me in the love category. They are the only major professional team featuring headgear without a logo. That uniqueness is not lost on me. It evokes a feeling of tradition and nostalgia you so rarely see in pro sports.
3. St. Louis Rams
Remember all of the praise I heaped on the Bengals helmet? Well the Rams helmet does all of those same things right. I put the Rams helmet higher because the horns are a more intimidating look than the stripes.
2. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts helmet does so many things perfectly. No lettering, good color scheme and a simple logo that gives people an idea of the mascot without overtly pointing it out. In essence it is nearly perfect. How appropriate will it be if Andrew Luck sports a helmet with a horseshoe on it for his entire career?
1. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings have the perfect helmet. Take everything positive I just said about the Colts helmet and apply it here. The additional bonus is that the horn is a more intimidating logo than a horseshoe.