The 2018-19 NFL season is set to kick off and in addition to exciting action and entertaining touchdown celebrations all season long, it’s also time to take an in-depth look at every team’s style when they take to the field for 17 weeks this year.
The NFL has some of the most decorative and more appreciated uniform combinations in all professional sports, and that positive characteristic is apparent for a number of the league’s teams that wear alternate jerseys. Considering a vast number of teams have an official third jersey, there’s still a notable gap between the worst and best jerseys heading into the 2018 season.
While at least a handful of teams have decided to reintroduce throwback jerseys as alternates, some clubs wear and present the vintage style better than others.
Then, there are other teams that have established an uncanny tradition of wearing third jerseys during prime-time games, and with an intimidating appearance. The NFL will
Though, there is an ongoing theme that contributes which NFL teams have the best third jerseys. Teams that tend to stay consistent with their primary designs may be ranked higher than other teams that are almost unrecognizable when they take to the field with alternates.
TheSportster ranks the NFL’s alternate jerseys from worst to best.
20 Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers arguably have the best uniforms in the NFL, but their alternate uniforms are hands-down the worst in the league. Regardless if these are supposed to tribute a throwback uniform set, they’re that bad to witness in person and on television.
What’s even worse is that these uniforms can be easily confused with the New York Jets’ throwbacks uniforms to tribute the New York Titans back in 2007. Needless to say, those alternates didn’t last long for the Gang Green.
If the Packers were to have worn this jersey once every other decade or so, this odd jersey wouldn’t have been on the bottom of this list.
Yet, Green Bay continues to wear it and sadly have been since 2012. The jerseys more than likely also remind fans of the “Default” jerseys that EA Sports has in its “Creation Zone” for uniforms in Madden.
19 Washington Redskins
The Washington Redskins and Florida State Seminoles tend to get confused once a year. That is, in fact, when the Redskins take to the field donning their alternate uniforms that are similar to Florida State’s “Garnet” red and gold color scheme.
While these uniforms aren’t terrible and are supposed to portray a modernized vintage appearance, they could be better. More times than not, simplicity won’t affect a jersey’s appearance, but these take simple too far. A team such as Washington that already has a decorative and one of a kind color scheme should have an alternate jersey that’s more flashy and appealing.
18 Chicago Bears
Chicago’s alternate uniform is just average at best. The layout and design of the jersey has that vintage feel to it but using two dark colors for a jersey usually doesn’t bode well for any sports jersey.
The three plain orange stripes on the sleeves of the jerseys are the best part to the Bears’ current alternate uniform. The Windy City definitely made a mistake by not using the white Chicago “C” for the helmets’ decals, and having the numbers be just white would also be a nice upgrade from them just being filled in as orange.
Alternate jerseys are supposed to have a sense of excitement and some way shape or form, but these really don’t move most NFL fans alike, and certainly not Chicago’s fanbase either.
17 Tennessee Titans
The Titans' baby blue alternate uniforms were always one of the best uniform sets in the league, but they were recently ruined when the team decided to make some notable modifications to all three uniforms.
For starters, the team using a navy-blue helmet while wearing light blue alternate jerseys is not an appealing look, and it makes the team look like that of a high school squad. Also, the team filling in the number-fonts with navy-blue was a mistake.
The jersey doesn’t flow or pop like it used to when the alternate’s numbers were white.
The grey yokes on the shoulders aren’t terrible, and at least it’s consistent with the other primary uniforms. Yet, this uniform is too busy and has dropped significantly for a list such as this one.
16 Denver Broncos
It’s never a bad idea for teams to stay consistent when it boils down the all three uniform designs, yet Denver's alternate jersey is stuck in the middle of the pack for this list. Denver retired the navy-blue jerseys as the primary home uniforms after the 2011 season and introduced the orange alternates as the home jerseys.
It wasn’t a bad idea, and the all navy-blue alternates for Denver are a nice thing to witness on Sunday or Monday Night Football. However, most NFL fans would more than likely agree that the Broncos alternate at this point in time should be something similar to the team’s throwback orange and powder blue jerseys.
Perhaps it’s only a matter of time before the Broncos decide to introduce a modernized version of the team’s jerseys from the 80s and 90s.
15 Seattle Seahawks
No, the Seattle Seahawks’ alternate uniforms are not the lime, “Action Green,” jerseys that the team wore for the NFL’s color rush campaign. But the Seahawks do in fact have an alternate uniform that’s all grey – “Wolf Grey.”
Due to the team’s color scheme, these uniforms work well for Seattle’s overall appearance and brand. The Action Green that outlines the jersey’s number and name fonts complement the Wolf Grey jersey and the design stays consistent with the Seahawks’ primary jerseys.
Yes, the Seahawks’ alternates are simple, but they are cool considering the team usually plays its home games in stormy weather. These jerseys portray that stormy vibe, but in an intriguing way and not in comparison to one of those “fashion” replica jerseys the NFL tries to market for every team.
14 Buffalo Bills
The Bills alternate jersey tributes the team’s all-white uniform from the 1970s and also uses the logo from that era. It’s a clever and subtle change of pace that all of Buffalo can appreciate for one or two home games a year.
The all-white appearance is sleek, and the team should almost consider reverting back to these as the Bills’ full-time road jerseys.
The thin blue and red stripes have a clean appearance, and one other positive and subtle characteristic about this jersey is that the collar is all white. The piping down the sides of the pants stays consistent with the theme of the jersey and the sock enhance that vintage feel for the uniform.
13 Jacksonville Jaguars
After some slight modifications this offseason, the Jags' uniforms are actually some of the better sets in the league; especially their alternates. Jacksonville used to wear its teal uniforms as the team’s primary home jerseys from 1995 to 2011 season, but since then the Jags rock the teal jerseys as the alternates.
The jersey's appearance and design are unique in comparison to traditional NFL uniforms, but the layout and design also follow a recent trend for new uniforms. The Jaguars typically wear the teal jerseys with black pants but they are able to mix and match by wearing the jersey with the white or teal pants, as well. It’s a sleek design and also stays consistent with the team’s other two jerseys.
12 Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta’s alternate jersey has been a modernized uniform that the Falcons originally wore during the 90s.
It’s a simple and classy uniform that’s also timeless. The Falcons made the right decision to have a throwback as a nice change of pace for the team’s uniform set, and one can almost wonder if the team will ever revert to this uniform full-time at some point. The vintage Falcons logo is arguably one of the best logos of all time, and hopefully, the team adds a red helmet with this uniform, which would make it stand out in a unique way. The piping down the sides of the pants and sock-color-combination complements the uniform’s simplistic appearance, too.
11 Arizona Cardinals
While the Arizona Cardinals used to have some of the most boring uniforms in the NFL, the team introduced a new design for the home and away jerseys prior to the 2004-05 campaign. Since that time, the Cardinals have not only had one of the better uniforms sets in the league, but the team also has one the best alternate jerseys the NFL has to offer to enter 2018-19.
Arizona’s black third jerseys are intriguing for several reasons, but primarily because the Cardinals are able to blend in other colors that complement the black.
The players’ numbers and name-plate fonts are colored in white and are also outlined in red, which really makes this third jersey more appealing than others. Also, the black third with the white pants and white helmet complements the jersey’s overall appearance.
10 Houston Texans
Since joining the league as an expansion franchise, Houston wasted no time introducing an alternate jersey. In 2003, the Texans took to the field wearing a red alternate jersey with white pants. The Texans stayed true to their colors and kept the design consistent and essentially flipped the red and blue colors from the team’s home jersey.
The Texans have been seen wearing red, white and navy-blue pants with this alternate and all three combinations are awesome to witness once or twice a year.
The Texans should seriously consider a switch to have these be the primary home jerseys. These really stand out a lot better than Houston's primary navy blues.
9 Carolina Panthers
Since entering the league in 1995, the Carolina Panthers have always had one of the best uniforms in all of sports. Black, powder blue, white and silver should only and always be worn by the NFC East’s, Panthers.
After spending eight seasons without an alternate, Carolina finally decided to reverse its color scheme and introduced a powder blue alternate. It’s by far one of the league’s best third jerseys. Tteams can never go wrong when keeping all three of their jersey-designs consistent, either. The silver pants and helmet make the jersey pop, as do the white numbers outlined in black. One has to wonder if the Panthers will ever progress into wearing these as the team’s primary home jersey.
8 Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens have had some of the NFL’s best uniforms and combinations since the team’s inception back in 1996.
Originally, the Ravens would wear the black alternates on Sunday or Monday Night Football with black pants, but now the team can be seen wearing the third jerseys with white pants.
The white pants entail purple, black and gold piping, which also includes the team’s alternate “B” logo by the hip area.
Baltimore made the right decision to use white for all of the fonts on the jersey, and the numbers really pop considering they’re outlined in gold. The purple stripes added on the sleeves of the jerseys are also a nice touch to the overall appearance.
7 Philadelphia Eagles
The reigning Super Bowl champions are near the top of this list for having one of the best alternate jerseys in the NFL. For nearly two decades, the Philadelphia Eagles have worn midnight black alternate jerseys and usually for Primetime games such as Monday or Sunday Night Football.
The combination of the black jerseys with the Eagles’ green and white color scheme makes for one intimidating look out on the field between the white lines, and there’s no doubting it’s a great look for the City of Brotherly Love’s NFL squad. The dark green complements the black alternate uniforms like no other color scheme in the league, and the white numbers outlined in that same green really make the jerseys pop; especially under the lights at Lincoln Financial Field.
6 Cincinnati Bengals
Where to even begin with these gems? The Cincinnati Bengals alternate jersey is arguably flawless.
The team stayed consistent with the primary jersey's design and just implemented orange as its base color. The uniform's overall appearance is unique and essentially sums up the definition of what a great alternate jersey should look like. The Bengals can wear white or black pants with the jersey, but the white pants match the jersey considering that the numbers are white. The white siding down the jersey is a nice touch added to this classic alternate uniform, too.
Similar to other top alternate jerseys on this list, there could be a point in time where NFL fans alike witness the Bengals use the orange jerseys as the primary home uniforms.
5 Los Angeles Chargers
It shouldn’t come to a surprise that the Los Angeles Chargers are near the top of the list for having one of the best alternate uniforms in the NFL.
In fact, the Chargers have had one of the best alternate uniforms since the team began wearing the powder blue third jerseys back in the early 2000s.
Yes, the Chargers have changed cities, but their brand and uniforms haven’t altered.
Similar to other teams on this list, NFL fans alike have to wonder if the team will ever consider changing the powder blues to the primary home jerseys, or perhaps that would ruin the uniform’s appeal if it were worn more often.
4 Los Angeles Rams
It’s probably only a matter of time before the Los Angeles Rams wear these awesome and vintage alternate uniforms as the team’s primary jerseys. However, entering 2018-19, these beauts are still considered third jerseys.
The iconic uniforms took to the trenches in Los Angeles twice last season, yet the Rams lost both outings. Still, that doesn’t downgrade these alternate uniforms.
Yes, navy blue and gold is a sleek look, and it was a good image for the Rams during the early 2000s; but entering 2018-19 this bright color scheme has proven to beat Father Time and are hands-down one of, if not the, best alternate jerseys in the NFL. The jerseys are simple, but also stay consistent with the Rams’ branded and iconic helmets. There aren’t too many uniforms in professional sports that were executed better than these.
3 Glad Are Gone: San Francisco 49ers
Typically, you can't go wrong with black and red as a color scheme, but this just didn't belong on a 49ers uniform. The fact that the helmets remained gold just made it look more bizarre, and they didn't bother to introduce any gold on the jersey or pants, whether as stripes or to outline the jerseys.
The NFL has done away with its color rush movement for Thursday night games and thankfully, the Niners were able to ditch these and revert to their red, gold and white look. If the 49ers want a real alternate, how about modernizing their late 90s unis?
2 Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns already realize they didn't exactly go with a great look for their uniforms and word is, they're already considering another revamp in 2020, the earliest the NFL will allow them to do so. However, we can take some solace that the team appears to be ditching its recent orange alternate and instead will go with their color rush uniforms from a year ago as its new alternate.
It hasn't been announced yet as to when the Browns will wear the color rush jerseys for the first time ever, but a good guess would be on a primetime game, perhaps their September tilt with the Jets.
1 Jacksonville Jaguars Color Rush
Some teams got creative with their color rush look and some took it too far.
While some color rush jerseys were deemed a bit too flashy for the average person's taste, these Jags color rush uniforms worn over the past two seasons were just plain eye sores. They looked even worse when under the bright lights of primetime football. It's baffling as to why the Jags didn't go for an all-teal look rather than going with these mustard yellow abominations.
The Jags made significant improvements to their uniforms this offseason and they even have removed the half gold helmet, and gone with all-black. All in all, a solid offseason for Jacksonville.