Inside the NFL: Ranking All 32 Teams' Helmets
The helmet has long been recognized as the emblem of each team. The logo proudly displayed in the team's colors evokes pride in the players and fans.
Along with preventing concussions and safety use, helmets symbolize an entire team and are the main part of the uniform. Fans want their team's helmet to appeal to them.
Some helmets on this list are good, some are ugly. Now, I am no fashion guru, so just enjoy this look at another side of the NFL.
**All photographs, excluding cover photo, courtesy of www.mapkernow.com/nfl-helmets
32. Cleveland Browns- The dubious title goes to the plain orange helmet with brown and white stripes. No logo. No letters. Nothing. Just a dull shade of orange.
31. Washington Redskins- The Skins' color schemes work a little bit better than those of Cleveland, but the entire helmet just doesn't work. Maroon, gold white, and brown shouldn't be combined for a "current" theme. Washington's retro helmet looked better because the Native American logo was simple.
30. Chicago Bears- Sure, it's classical, but it's dull. The orange 'C' is too simple for my taste and is hidden by the navy blue. The facemask matches the helmet and there are no stripes, which are usually a good idea.
29. Houston Texans- Don't get me wrong: I like the Texans logo. The red, white, and blue longhorn looks cool, but it doesn't stand out on a helmet that is basically the same as Chicago's. Navy blue background and facemask with no stripes. A little more contrasting red would look good.
28. Baltimore Ravens- Too many dark colors on this one! The black base and purple raven don't allow it to stand out from the couch. It looks better up close and the gold trim around the raven and the 'B' are nice touches.
27. Detroit Lions- Detroit's new logo is fierce and looks good on its field...but not so much on the helmet. They are lower on the list mainly because of the shiny silver. It just doesn't look like the helmet of a winner.
26. Carolina Panthers- Not many are too high on the screaming black panther on silver. Once again, the silver isn't a great helmet color, especially with an extremely dark panther. Maybe if Carolina's blue was made a bit more prominent, it would rank higher on my list.
25. New York Giants- Big Blue sure shows exactly that on its uniform. Plain, blue jersey and plain, blue helmet. The red stripe down the middle is a nice addition. The gray facemask doesn't stand out and docks points. Nothing too special about the New York helmet.
24. Minnesota Vikings- The whole purple background and white viking horn doesn't work itself up very high on the list. The viking horn is very basic and doesn't stand out. I like their jerseys, however.
23. Indianapolis Colts- At least it suits Peyton Manning well. It's just a little too bland, but the horseshoe is cool.
22. Miami Dolphins- Teal and orange are not football colors. Enough said. As much as I want to have the Fins higher on my list, I have to dock rankings because of the colors.
21. San Francisco 49ers- The bronze, red, and black is a unique look for San Francisco. The red facemask might be the best thing about the helmet. The city initials make sure that you know whose helmet it is. It also doesn't hurt that it is associated with winning.
20. Arizona Cardinals- It's difficult not to like the Cardinals logo or their uniforms, but the helmet doesn't fit into that category. With no stripes and a small logo, too much white is showing and leads to visible marks. At least the logo is a keeper.
19. Atlanta Falcons- The Falcons helmet fits right into the middle of the pack. It doesn't stand out, but it's hard not to like. The black and red are good colors and they are used well in the helmet.
18. Tennessee Titans- Just like Atlanta's helmet, the Titans have a good design but nothing extra special. The two short and dark blue stripes are unique to only the Titans. The logo is in the NFL's top 10.
17. New York Jets- Every Sunday the Jets look sharp. Their helmets and uniforms are professional with nothing fancy. I like the use of only green and white in the helmet. It would be hard to create a top 10 helmet for the Jets, so I give the team props for making the best out of what they have.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars- Congratulations, Jacksonville. You are right in the middle. I like the helmet logo of the screaming jaguar, but other than that it's all black.
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- How can you not love the red skull and crossbones flag? It has to be one of the best helmet logos. The metallic look to the helmet makes it stand out.
14. Kansas City Chiefs- The red base and white facemask give away sort of a college feel. The colors are great and the logo is average, which leads to Kansas City making the top half of the list.
13. New Orleans Saints- The World Champs have one of the best base colors in gold. The logo is used well and stands out. When watching from home, you can tell when the Saints are playing just by their helmet.
12. Buffalo Bills- Personally my dad's favorite, Buffalo nearly cracks the top 10. Just like in Kansas City's helmet, I love the red base. Buffalo tops the Chiefs because of its stripes and big blue bison logo. There isn't much space on the helmet with the logo and seven stripes.
11. New England Patriots- It was a tough decision to leave the Patriots out of the top 10. The red facemask stands out on the shiny silver helmet.
10. Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia has an all-around elite helmet.
The wings are a superb and unique idea. I know I would never have thought of that. The green base is the perfect color for the wings. It just looks like a team called the Eagles would wear it.
Oh, by the way, Philadelphia needs to stay away from the yellow and blue uniforms. That was a bad idea.
9. Oakland Raiders
The silver and black is back.
Oakland stuck with the vintage Raiders look. Silver and black are bad boy colors and the team sure has some bad boy history from the Madden teams of the '70s to the LA Raiders of the '80s.
No other team stuck to two smashmouth colors like the Raiders did. Silver and black are synonymous with the franchise and Al Davis. No need for flashy with the Raiders. You just have to love the Oakland helmet.
8. Dallas Cowboys
Both Dallas's current and the retro white and blue helmets would be in the top of any list. They're pure classic.
Sure, the Cowboys don't have the flashiest uniforms and helmets, but the silver base and blue star is as classic as you'll get in the NFL today. No need for a fancy logo, Dallas sticks with the blue star and it has become a recognized symbol of not only the Cowboys, but also Texas sports.
7. Seattle Seahawks
What Seattle likes to call "Seahawks blue" is a great base color for the helmet. Mixing all of the shades of blue and green actually worked for the Seahawks.
The totem pole design for the Seahawk is a great idea and having them wrap around the back of the helmet looks cool. It merges Northwest culture and current graphics and styles.
6. Green Bay Packers
Green and Gold. Aside from Oakland, Green Bay is the only team known by its colors. No team has come even close to Green Bay's colors. Green and gold may be the best helmet colors in the NFL.
How can you not love the gold base and the classic green and white 'G'? Ever since 1961, the Packers have had the same helmet design and it will never change. There is a lot of history in the Pack's headgear.
The colors and logo are great, and the facemask contrasts the gold well. When the team lines up with the yellow pants, green jerseys, and classic helmets, no team looks sharper.
5. Denver Broncos
In a couple of lists I have seen the Broncos were listed as No. 1 overall. I don't think I would put them that high up, but their helmet is good enough to crack the list at No. 5.
The orange stripe that starts wide in the rear of the helmet and comes to a point at the front is one of the best things about Denver's helmet. I also like the bronco with the orange mane and eye. The colors are used perfectly, as I don't really see any need for improvement on the helmet.
Denver has been using the current helmet since 1997.
4. San Diego Chargers
I don't know what it is about San Diego's helmet, but it just appeals to me so much that it makes the list at No. 4.
Maybe it's the classic white, yellow, and powder blue look. For a decade and a half the Chargers used the same style of helmet, but with the player's number on each side. Then throughout the 1990s and early 2000s the team occasionally wore the white helmets before switching permanently in 2007.
While the plain white base and no stripes hurts the Cardinals, it is a perfect look on the Chargers helmet. The yellow and powder blue bolt stands out the most on the helmet.
3. St. Louis Rams
As much as I liked the retro yellow and blue helmet, the current Rams helmet is even better.
The color choice is just perfect with the navy blue and gold. The golden horn is one of the most unique features on any helmet and is just the right size. There is no need for anything else because it would ruin the entire helmet.
St. Louis was the first team to put a logo on a helmet, with the basic helmet theme not changing since.
2. Cincinnati Bengals
In case you haven't noticed, I like the helmet logos that aren't always placed in the center. The Bengals are no exception, nearly convincing me to put them at No. 1.
To start, the orange base is very noticeable and memorable. Once you see the orange, you know the Bengals are playing. The helmet doesn't try to get too fancy and incorporate tons of colors. Orange and black is enough.
The black tiger stripes are what catapults Cincy into the silver medal. When you see the helmet, you know it symbolizes a tiger. It simply looks great along with the Bengals uniforms.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
And winning the title of best helmet is the Pittsburgh Steelers, the franchise with the most Super Bowl titles.
Pittsburgh doesn't have the best color scheme or logo, but everything about its helmet is unique and it has something that no other team does; a logo on only one side.
That idea itself could put them into the No. 1 spot. There is no logo on the left side of the helmet. And where there is a logo, it is pretty cool. They used the great idea of the hypocycloid logo with the yellow, blue, and red on the helmet.
The helmet is historic and has a great classic feel to it. The yellow stripe adds a little brightness in a dark helmet. It is an all-around great helmet.