This was the offseason of the helmet as a host of teams around the NFL unveiled alternate and throwback lids to use for the 2022 season.
But some clubs did better than others with their new looks. Here are all 13 new helmets ranked from worst to best.
13. Chicago Bears
At least the Bears have some consistency. Their job selecting the alternate orange helmet is as bad as their effort to upgrade quarterback Justin Fields’ supporting cast this season.
12. New York Jets
The current iteration of the Jets doesn’t elicit much excitement, and their alternate helmet follows the path of the on-field product. With so many teams going for black alternates, New York’s version is forgettable.
11. Washington Commanders
The Commanders released their alternate look alongside their uniform rebrand in February. You’ll be forgiven if it didn’t stick in your memory. The player number on the side isn’t too bad but forces the logo to the front, which looks amateurish.
10. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals deserve credit for their effort in their alternate helmet’s official announcement. However, those lids don’t really have anything special. The best part about the shiny black helmet is the red glitter spots on it.
9. New Orleans Saints
There’s something about this alternate lid that doesn’t look good. We’re not used to seeing the Saints wear black helmets, and these new lids eliminate the traditional three-stripe appearance, showing off the tiny gold “fleur-de-lis” logos instead. Ruining one of the NFL’s best uniforms doesn’t do the black helmet any favors, either.
8. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys always have to go bigger than everyone else. They released their throwback for Thanksgiving and could also have a similar-looking alternate on the way. But the throwback is simple, safe, and a bit dull. We expected more from the NFL’s brashest franchise.
7. Philadelphia Eagles
Unlike other teams who tried it, the Eagles logo meshes well with the black look and will undoubtedly be intimidating. It’s a pity these are apparently only sticking around for a year with a new throwback uniform coming in 2023.
6. Houston Texans
More teams should wear red helmets, and Houston’s new look might be here to stay. Though there aren’t many reasons to watch the Texans this season, make sure their Week 9 game against the Eagles is circled on your calendar – that’s when Houston debuts its “Battle Red” helmet.
5. New York Giants
Throwback helmets always hit different for the more storied franchises, and the Giants are among the most iconic teams in the NFL. The “Giants” on the side draws instant memories of Lawrence Taylor crushing quarterbacks and is far more aesthetically pleasing than the current “NY” decal.
4. Atlanta Falcons
Falcons fans likely won’t have much to cheer about this season, but at least their players will look clean in their throwback helmets. On the other hand, it highlights the lack of imagination in the team’s recent standard uniform redesign.
3. New England Patriots
New England’s alternate helmets are awesome on their own, but the return of the popular Pat Patriot logo also means the team will finally wear its red jerseys again.
2. Carolina Panthers
Few people would complain if the Panthers made the black helmet their No. 1 look moving forward. That’s how nice Carolina’s alternate lids are.
1. Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati is suddenly one of the must-watch offenses in the NFL. And now the club has a beautifully slick all-white look for when it pairs the “White Bengal” helmet with the color rush uniform to match the team’s electric talent. It’s Cincinnati’s first-ever alternate helmet, and it knocked it out of the park.