An NFL rule change that impacts the 2022 season would not normally grab headlines as we enter the 2021 season.
That is true unless the rule change involves uniforms, or in this case, helmets.
The NFL decided that teams can introduce one alternate or throwback helmet during the 2022 season.
— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) June 24, 2021
This rule change was announced on June 24, 2021 but has been anticipated for months.
We're still waiting on the NFL to change the one helmet rule per season which would enable throwback uniforms.
Throwback helmets were banned in 2013.
They have talked about changing the rule this season, they just haven't gotten it done.
Imagine a prime time game in these. 💪🏈 pic.twitter.com/eupbWoP4UI
— Greg Woodfill (@greg_woodfill) May 31, 2021
Now that the rule change is official, it led us to wonder what could be the three best NFL throwback helmets worn during 2022 regular-season games.
Here they are, and ironically Tom Brady has played for two of the three teams.
3. Denver Broncos
During the John Elway era, the Broncos helmet included the large red letter D.
The white Bronco was situated inside the letter.
While the current Broncos helmet shares the same background color of blue, it is definitely a different shade than the lighter royal blue of the throwback helmets.
This classic helmet makes us yearn for the “Orange Crush” days of the 1990s Broncos teams.
— T-Mac Sports (@tmacsports) February 3, 2018
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Speaking of orange, the classic Tampa Bay throwback orange jersey worn by quarterback Doug Williams is still a fan favorite.
— Chris William (@ChrisWilliam93) December 6, 2015
The helmet that matched the jersey is also legendary.
Instead of a pirate’s flag as shown in the contemporary helmet, the throwback helmet pictured an actual pirate’s face in the orange shade that perfectly matched the jerseys.
— HelmetNation, LLC (@helmetnation) July 9, 2017
Hopefully, Tom Brady plays for the Bucs in 2022 so we can see the GOAT wearing this getup.
1. New England Patriots
Ironically, the Patriots shed the “Pat Patriot” helmets and red jerseys around the time the team started winning.
However, Pat Patriot is still beloved, and we cannot envision a scenario where we won’t see this look in 2022.
Pat Patriot and the Red Jerseys. Best throwbacks in the #NFL.
— Matt Stark (@TheMattStark) June 25, 2021
For some reason, we cannot picture Cam Newton in this uniform and helmet assortment.
Perhaps that is an ominous sign for his longevity in New England beyond 2021.
Honorable Mention – Tennessee Titans
This one would have been heavily considered in the top three if the original team had not relocated.
The Houston Oilers left Texas and became the Tennessee Titans in 1997.
When the Oilers were in Houston, they had a signature jersey and helmet look.
It was the baby blue jerseys with white numbers (or vice versa) outlined in red, and topping it off, literally, was the white helmet with the image of an oil well above each ear.
What's your favorite NFL uniform of All-time? I think mine is the 80s-90s Houston Oilers. pic.twitter.com/HOrRCvVkUa
— 𝙃𝙚𝙡𝙢𝙚𝙩 𝘼𝙙𝙙𝙞𝙘𝙩 (@HelmetAddict) February 19, 2018
It is unlikely Tennessee will wear this, but wouldn’t it be great?
Maybe the Houston Texans should adopt it as their throwback despite being an expansion team.
The NFL’s decision to allow throwback helmets is a smart one.
It will increase fan purchases.
In addition, for teams that do not have a throwback helmet, it may motivate them to create one.
It makes the game even more fun and entertaining while creating nostalgia for the good old days among fans old enough to remember when the throwback helmets were part of the regular uniform.