Ranking All 32 NFL Helmets
Is there one NFL franchise that sticks out from the rest in terms of having the best NFL helmet? We think so. This piece will delve into all 32 NFL teams, and thus we will rank them accordingly from least-favorite NFL helmet to the ultimate best NFL helmet. Where does your team end up on the list — and do you agree with ours?
32. Cleveland Browns
Was there ever a question of which team would rank last? Not only do the Cleveland Browns have a tortured history, but they also have the worst helmet in the NFL. To be fair, there isn’t much you can do when your team name is ‘Browns’. However, Cleveland’s choice to use a plain, orange helmet is a poor one. The brown and white stripe is fine, but it doesn’t do much for the look. We don’t know how the Browns can improve their helmet, but it is time to come up with something new.
31. New England Patriots
Patriot Pat is far superior to New England’s current ‘Flying Elvis’ helmet. If the Patriots were to bring back their old, white helmets featuring Patriot Pat on a permanent basis, the team would rank much higher on this list. However, we simply can’t put New England any higher than 31 for as long as they only wear its silver helmet. The silver lid and red facemask look fine, but the ‘Flying Elvis’ is putrid. Due to the franchise’s success while wearing the current lid, however, it is unlikely that it ever goes away completely.
30. New York Jets
Depending on how you feel about alternate helmets, you may rate the Jets a bit higher than we do. Ahead of the 2022 season, New York unveiled an alternate helmet. Accompanying New York’s all-black look will be a black helmet. The new helmet features a green facemask, and the same logo as the primary helmet — colored in green instead of white. The Jets have had some better looks in the past.
29. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals are in desperate need of a makeover. In our minds, Arizona sports some of the worst uniforms in sports. The Cardinals unveiled a new uniform set ahead of 2023, and it still is one of the worst looks in the league. Arizona’s primary helmet is boring — a white shell featuring the birdhead logo. The alternate helmet — black helmet with a metallic-looking birdhead and black facemask — is a clear upgrade. When the light hits the helmet a certain way, red sparkles are visible in the paint (a look Louisville has donned often in college).
28. Houston Texans
From Houston’s first year in the NFL in 2002 through the 2021 season, the Texans took the field with the exact same look. The uniforms have remained the same for 20 years, and the navy helmet was untouched. Houston’s primary helmet looks the same as the one featured above, but navy replaces the red shell. Ahead of the ’22 season, the Texans introduced an alternate helmet — the Battle Red Helmet. The red certainly pops, and the logo works quite well with the bright shell. It is a nice change of pace for the franchise, but we need to see the helmets in action before we move the Texans further up the list.
27. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars are yet another team that has seen their helmet worsen over the years. From 1995-2012, Jacksonville stuck with its original logo — a more fierce Jaguar than the current look. The Jags had one of the best-looking helmets in the league…until they opted for a two-tone look in 2013. After five seasons, Jacksonville scrapped the two-tone shells in favor of its current look — a solid black helmet with the Jaguar’s head. We aren’t fans of the modern Jaguar logo. It’s that simple.
26. New York Giants
Why don’t the Giants bring back this helmet on a permanent basis? Being brought back in 2022 thanks to the NFL’s one-helmet rule going by the wayside, New York’s classic helmet is a huge improvement from its primary look — a lighter blue shell featuring a lowercase ‘ny’ in white. The navy blue helmet with GIANTS was worn between 1980-1999. During that time, the Giants won two Super Bowls. The only strange thing about this helmet is that the blue on the uniform and helmet never matched. Still, it is a strong look that the Giants should bring back full-time.
25. Detroit Lions
Detroit has donned a similar helmet to its current look since 1961. While the lion logo has gone through several upgrades, the look has remained unchanged — a silver helmet featuring a blue lion. The Lions current helmet is incredibly simple. Detroit rocks a silver helmet completed by a silver facemask, blue stripes running down the center of the lid, and the familiar blue lion. There is nothing inherently wrong with Detroit’s helmet, but it feels as if there is a lot of room for improvement.
24. Carolina Panthers
Like the Jets and Cardinals before them, the Carolina Panthers also unveiled a black alternate helmet ahead of the 2022 season. The addition of the black helmet marks the first time since Carolina’s inception in 1995 that the team has introduced a new lid. On the new all-black helmet, two blue stripes have replaced the black stripes from the silver dome. The logo pops off to the helmet due its bright blue tone. The Panthers should look pretty sharp when they opt to wear the new helmet with their all-black uniform. Carolina has decent helmet options, but nothing that blows us away.
23. Atlanta Falcons
Let’s talk about an upgrade. The Atlanta Falcons have some of the newest uniforms in the NFL, and they just happen to be amongst the ugliest the league has to offer. Their current primary helmet features a massive red and black falcon and a chrome facemask. Fans often ask for Atlanta to wear its old, 90’s era black helmet featuring the old-school falcon. Thankfully, the franchise introduced an updated version of an old classic ahead of the 2022 season. The new red alternate is complimented by a grey facemask, the old school falcon logo, and a stripe down the center that utilizes colors from Georgia Tech (gold) and Georgia. If the Falcons adopt the old black helmet, they will jump into the top 10.
22. Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens have a very familiar helmet. Why? The franchise has worn the same headpiece since 1999. When the Ravens first came to exist, the team wore their winged shield helmet for three seasons. For the past 20 or so years, the Ravens have worn the helmet pictured above. The use of purple on the raven’s head is nice — an added plus that purple is a color only used by the Ravens and Vikings — but the overall design is somewhat boring. Baltimore should have plenty of ideas for an alternate helmet in the years to come.
21. Indianapolis Colts
A classic. Simple, but a classic. Dating back to 1957 when the Colts were still in Baltimore, the franchise has worn a nearly identical version of the helmet the team wears today. Indianapolis’ look is iconic at this point. The Colts wear a white helmet with a dark blue horseshoe and stripe with a grey facemask. The only thing that has changed over the years is the color of the horseshoe. This is a very solid look, but we expect Indianapolis to tinker with an alternate helmet in the coming years.
20. Denver Broncos
The Broncos debuted their current uniforms and helmets in 1997. The team won the Super Bowl in its new duds in both 1997 and 1998, so the helmets immediately became one of the league’s most recognizable shells. Denver added another Lombardi Trophy to its collection at the conclusion of the 2015-16 season. Despite the franchise’s success in the navy and orange, fans are clamoring for a change. There is nothing wrong with the current helmet — the white bronco is a strong look, and the orange pops — but the previous lids were simply better. Hell, maybe the Broncos should keep this helmet but revert back to the light blue and orange combo that the team wore for four decades.
19. Chicago Bears
Like the Colts, the Chicago Bears have one of the more iconic helmets in the NFL. Dating back to 1962, the Bears have worn a navy helmet featuring the trademark wishbone ‘C’ — from 1962-1973 it was white, and it has been orange ever since. The only change since 1983? The facemask went from grey to navy. Aside from a few classic designs that the Bears have worn in recent years, the franchise has retained the same look for decades. So, when the team announced it would wear orange helmets for a few games in 2022, fans were intrigued. The verdict is still out on whether it is a good look or not, however. The new helmet simply swapped the colors of the ‘C’ and the shell. It is better than Cleveland’s orange lids, but it’s still not great.
Image Source: Chicago Bears
18. Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles, like a handful of other teams in 2022, are introducing a black alternate helmet. Philadelphia’s normal helmet has been worn since 1996. The dark green lid features a silver, black and white wing on both sides of the helmet. If you think that the two helmets above look nearly identical, you are not alone. The new, black helmet features the same wing design as the primary lid. To be honest, the black helmet doesn’t look much darker than the green. However, it has been announced that the Eagles will debut Kelly green helmets in 2023. That look will vault Philly up this list.
17. Tennessee Titans
An argument could be made that Tennessee’s current helmet is the weakest in franchise history. Back when the Titans were the Houston Oilers, they featured a classic helmet — one of the best in league history. Upon moving to Tennessee, the team soon rebranded as the Titans and debuted a white helmet with the same logo seen on the helmet above. In 2018, Tennessee ditched the white helmet and unveiled the navy lids. A silver facemask replaced the old, blue facemask on the white helmet. It is a decent look, but the Titans can do better.
16. Miami Dolphins
Miami’s old logo is better than its current one — and this writer doesn’t think it’s particularly close. Miami’s helmet has maintained the same theme since 1966. Throughout team history, the Dolphins have worn a white helmet that features a dolphin jumping through a sunburst. The aqua and orange hues have seen some updates over the years, but that was all until 2013. That year, the helmet above was released. A new, more streamlined dolphin replaced the classic we all grew to love. Instead of a leaping dolphin, the dolphin now appears to be swimming. Also, the dolphin no longer wears its own ‘M’ helmet. It’s time to return to the past, Miami.
15. New Orleans Saints
For the first time since the 1969 preseason, the New Orleans Saints will wear a helmet that isn’t gold. Dating back to 1967, New Orleans has donned a gold helmet featuring a black fleur-de-lis. While the shade of gold and facemask color has changed slightly over the years, the helmet has largely remained untouched. In 2022, the Saints unveiled a new, black helmet. In addition to the helmet switching from gold to black, the Saints’ fleur-de-lis logo has gone from black to gold. Down the center of the helmet, a bunch of tiny gold fleur-de-lis logos replace the traditional stripes. These helmets will look great on the field.
14. Washington Commanders
As part of Washington’s rebrand to the Commanders, the franchise released a new set of uniforms which included two helmets. For their primary look, the Commanders opted for an all-burgundy shell with a single gold stripe down the middle and the primary ‘W’ logo in gold. As for its secondary helmet, Washington chose a shiny black shell with a couple of unique quirks. The sides of the helmet feature the player’s numbers ala Alabama. On the front, a smaller version of Washington’s ‘W’ logo is present. We think both of these helmets are pretty good.
13. Kansas City Chiefs
This is just clean. Some helmets stand out more than others due to a team’s success, and this is certainly the case with Kansas City over the past few years. The Chiefs don one of the NFL’s most recognizable lids — a red helmet sporting a white arrowhead with an interlocking ‘KC’ in red and black. The white facemask is the perfect complement to the helmet, although some fans might prefer the grey facemasks that Kansas City wore from 1963-1973.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers have worn four different helmets since the franchise’s inaugural season in 1976. In our minds, this is probably the second-best. Featured on the pewter shell which the team has worn since 1997 is a red pirate flag boasting a skull, two swords, and a football — with the flag impaled by a sword, as well. Of course, fans long for the ‘creamsicle’ Bucco Bruce helmet that the team wore upon its debut and through the 1996 season. Thankfully, the Bucs have announced that the creamsicle helmets/uniforms will be making their return in 2023.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers
There are probably a lot of people who believe this is the best helmet in the NFL. There is no denying that it is one of the most classic helmets in the league, but I believe that there are more than a few that beat out Pittsburgh’s unique look. Of course, Pittsburgh is the only team in the league that dons a helmet featuring a logo on just one side. The familiar black helmet works perfectly with Pittsburgh’s uniform options, but we are taking a few points away from the logo being a bit bland. The circle logo featuring the three diamonds is feeling a bit dated. Now, imagine an alternate helmet that utilizes the three colored diamonds…
10. Green Bay Packers
This helmet is a winner. Not only are the Green Bay Packers one of the NFL’s most storied franchises, but they also rock one of the most iconic helmets in football. Green Bay’s yellow helmet is instantly recognizable. The ‘G’ fits perfectly on the lid, and is an all-time classic football logo. While we would hear any argument for the Packers having a top-5 helmet, we are comfortable keeping them at No. 10. Bonus points for the helmet working in different colorways — the Georgia Bulldogs copied the Packers and it works, to say the least. Will we see Green Bay introduce a green alternate helmet in the future?
9. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys will be wearing three helmets in 2022. Of course, Dallas will rock its traditional silver helmets for most of the season. The former heavyweights have worn silver lids since 1964, and it’s hard to imagine the franchise pivoting away from the fantastic helmets. However, the Cowboys also have two additional looks at their disposal. On Thanksgiving, Dallas will wear its white throwback helmets — the primary look from 1960-1964. In December, the Cowboys will debut their newest helmet (seen above), known as “Arctic Cowboy.” The helmet looks a lot like the traditional throwbacks, but the modern star is utilized instead of the original. Overall, the Cowboys have three great options.
8. Los Angeles Rams
The Rams are a polarizing team. Now that they’re in Los Angeles, many people dislike them for many reasons — including being a Los Angeles sports team and one that spends a ton of money on elite talent. Additionally, the Rams have a uniform set that generates a lot of hot takes. For us, we believe the Rams have rather weak uniforms overall — but we are high on their helmet. The new shade of blue pops off the screen, and the yellow horn remains one of the best helmet decals in all of football. In the years to come, we anticipate the franchise producing some alternate helmets…the possibilities are endless.
7. Seattle Seahawks
Five teams in the NFL are named after birds — Cardinals, Falcons, Ravens, Eagles, Seahawks. In our minds, the Seahawks have the best bird helmet of the bunch. From 1976-2001, Seattle wore silver helmets with a blue, green, and white Seahawk on each side. For the next decade, the Seahawks donned a metallic blue helmet with a dark/light blue logo. Since 2012, Seattle has worn the helmet seen above. The helmet became a bit darker, grey replaced the light blue of the previous edition, and a feather pattern was added along the top of the helmet. Seattle has a distinct look and it is great. In 2023, Seattle is expected to debut an alternate helmet.
6. San Francisco 49ers
Believe it or not, the San Francisco 49ers haven’t always worn gold helmets. Considering the team is named after the prospectors who arrived in California in the 1849 Gold Rush, a silver helmet seems like a bad choice. Thankfully, the Niners adopted their trademark gold helmets in 1964. San Francisco’s current helmet has been worn since 2009. A gold lid is topped by a red and white stripe and features a grey facemask. While we still like this look a lot, we prefer the helmet the team wore between 1996-2008 — during that stretch, the facemask was red.
5. Buffalo Bills
The Bills have always had some of the best helmets in the NFL. Between 1962 and 1973, Buffalo sported a white helmet with a red standing buffalo. For the next decade, the franchise wore a white helmet featuring the leaping Buffalo. When the Bills made four straight trips to the Super Bowl, they were wearing red helmets. Currently, Buffalo is wearing the beautiful helmet seen above. The leaping buffalo is truly an awesome logo. Adding to the helmet’s effectiveness, the red and blue stripe is the perfect complement to the white shell. The franchise has teased a potential red alternate being added for the 2023 season — we would approve.
4. Cincinnati Bengals
In advance of the 2022 season, the NFL lifted its dreaded one-shell rule. Thus far, the Cincinnati Bengals — and fans around the world — have gained the most from the decision. In addition to sporting their classic orange helmet with black tiger stripes, the Bengals will finally be able to wear their “White Bengal” helmet. Now, Cincinnati will look amazing on the field while wearing its white and black Color Rush uniform. This helmet isn’t groundbreaking, but it is beautiful.
3. Minnesota Vikings
This may be a polarizing opinion. When talking about NFL helmets with our colleagues, a few of them have ranked the Vikings’ purple lids among the worst in the league. Despite their strong opinions, we like Minnesota’s look enough to rank them No. 3. The purple shell is entirely unique to the Vikings. The team currently dons a matte purple shell. While we favor the darker shade of purple worn in the past, the current hue still works. But what makes this helmet great are the horns. The white and gold horns are unique, striking, and badass.
2. Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers may never win a Super Bowl due to seemingly being a cursed franchise, but at least they look better than the rest of the NFL. Los Angeles boasts the best uniforms in the NFL. Aside from the all-royal uniform — which isn’t that bad — all of the Chargers’ uniform options are outstanding. The Chargers have three different helmet options, each of which corresponds with the uniform worn on any given Sunday. The helmet pictured above is an A+. The one that replaces the powder blue with royal blue is a solid A — as is the option that sees the lightning bolt filled with navy instead of yellow. Once the Chargers unveil an alternate helmet (likely navy or black), they will be No. 1.
1. Las Vegas Raiders
“The Autumn Wind is a Raider,
Pillaging just for fun.
He’ll knock you ’round and upside down,
And laugh when he’s conquered and won.”
The best helmet — and logo — the NFL has to offer, bar none. The patch-wearing pirate debuted with the team back in 1960. It took another four years for the team to decide on the black shield background. It has stuck around ever since while receiving slight tweaks along the way. There hasn’t been much tinkering needed. The leather helmet and “RAIDERS” font give an old-school vibe while somehow never feeling out of style. Originality, flair, and creativity are all at an all-time high with this pristine offering.