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2020 NFL Uniform Rankings

Updated: May 14, 2020

Uniforms play a key role in fandom as the jerseys worn by players ultimately serve as packaging for the product fans consume. With nearly a quarter of NFL franchises redesigning their threads this offseason, a few teams/brands have generated enthusiasm among their fanbases while others have left much to be desired.

I expect quite a few uniform ranking articles in the coming days as sports writers scramble for content amidst this seemingly eternal sports drought. And that's why I want to approach the subject from a a different angle - an angle that reflects our continued focus on fandom. Which uniforms best enhance a franchise's overall brand? Which fail to do so? What common denominators can we observe in those that work well and those that do not?

Because these rankings are subjective in nature, I understand that readers may disagree with my personal opinions. And that's actually perfect. My aim is to spark a discussion on the importance of uniforms in sports and why some are embraced by fans while others are not. I welcome and even encourage the opinions of readers in the comments and/or on Twitter (@FanalyticsMike). I want to know why a reader may think I'm wrong about their team's ranking and why their fandom embraces a look that I may not understand.

Here are my rankings for the entire league as well as brief explanations for each of the updated uniforms:

32. Los Angeles Rams

While fighting for the allegiance of Los Angeles football fans with the Chargers, the Rams organization failed to capitalize on its greatest advantage in its recent rebrand: the Rams' history in LA. Fans could have been choosing between the historic Los Angeles Rams and a seemingly invasive Chargers franchise. Instead, the franchise opted to compete like an altogether new franchise... against a better looking and equally "new" team. One could argue that Rams had nothing to lose after possessing the NFL's worst fanbase according to Professor Mike Lewis's 2019 fandom study. But if that's the case, this rebrand is reminiscent of drafting a bust #1 overall.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars

30. New York Jets

29. Tennessee Titans

28. Houston Texans

27. Miami Dolphins

26. Detroit Lions

25. Atlanta Falcons

While many Falcons fans have clamored for a simpler base uniform with a classic feel, Nike took the opposite approach with the Dirty Birds' new threads. The Falcons' new uniforms feature the NFL's first gradient jersey, pointed numbers, and the largest letters I've ever seen on an American football jersey. Perhaps, the team that plays in the NFL's most modern stadium deserves a modern, eye-popping aesthetic. Similar decision-making certainly paid off for the Seattle Seahawks organization in 2012 and paved the way for today's NFL uniforms. But mixed reception of these threads indicates a missed opportunity for the Falcons to unite an often frustrated fanbase.

24. Carolina Panthers

23. Cincinnati Bengals

22. Arizona Cardinals

21. Cleveland Browns

Brown and orange may never look good to some. But the Cleveland Browns franchise is married to these colors. After a misguided attempt to modernize their look, the Browns organization made the best move by returning to a familiar style. The all-white and home uniforms resemble those worn by Jim Brown's 1964 championship team. The color rush and away uniform resemble more recent iterations of the Browns brand. All-in-all, these uniform combinations appeal to generations of Browns fans - capitalizing on decades of fandom.

20. New York Giants

19. Denver Broncos

18. Buffalo Bills

17. New England Patriots

Not all Patriots fans are thrilled about their fresh look, and understandably so. Rarely do we see a franchise make significant uniform changes so soon after multiple Super Bowl runs. However, the Patriots' uniforms had become dated, and Tom Brady's departure may have provided the best opportunity for the franchise to modernize its aesthetic. The 2020 uniforms do not mark a full departure from the dynasty Patriots, but rather an all-in adoption of the team's well-received color rush look. The Pats managed to keep a few key elements from the Brady era jerseys while establishing a cleaner look. Regardless, the move distances Belichick's future teams from the feared Patriots of old and may hinder the franchise's ability to foster loyalty among Tom Brady fans.

16. Minnesota Vikings

15. Philadelphia Eagles

14. New Orleans Saints

13. Indianapolis Colts

One must squint to notice the differences in the Indianapolis Colts' new uniforms... and that's okay. The Indianapolis Colts have not strayed far from the uniforms worn by Peyton Manning and even Johnny Unitas (Baltimore Colts) because they work. The Colts' updated woodmark and number font provide subtle changes that give a classic look a more modern feel. Through these tweaks, the Colts organization has created uniforms that feel classic without feeling dated.

12. Baltimore Ravens

11. Dallas Cowboys

10. Washington Redskins

9. Oakland Raiders

8. Seattle Seahawks

7. Kansas City Chiefs

6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

After toting some of the strangest uniforms in NFL history for the last 5 years, Tampa Bay has returned to a proven formula. The Buccaneers new uniforms strongly resemble those worn by their 2002 Super Bowl championship team. The 2020 uniforms abandon Tampa's previous number font for block numbers and introduce a pewter alternate uniform that feels like it should have been part of the rotation all along. This time around, the Buccaneers have distinguished themselves with elements that are unique to their historic brand rather than with gimmicks.

5. San Francisco 49ers

4. Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers' old power blue uniforms have long been regarded as one of the best looking jerseys in football. And yet, their latest update has seemingly made one of the best... better. The Chargers will usher in a new era with uniforms that feel like a throwback. With six color schemes resembling those of the Chargers' uniforms of each decade dating back to the 60s, Los Angeles aims to capitalize on its past as it builds for its future. Much like the Buccaneers, the Chargers choose to differentiate themselves with elements unique to their well-established brand rather than with gimmicks. The Chargers distinguish themselves with lightning bolts rather than gradients. The result: an overall package that pleases fans of old and attracts a new generation in Los Angeles.

3. Green Bay Packers

2. Chicago Bears

1. Pittsburgh Steelers

- Doug Battle

Co-Host of Fanalytics


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