Just going to work right here:
#13. Jets-Patriots: NYJ in all white and NE in throwback red-white. Except for the Patriots throwback red jerseys, this is a total white matchup; helmets, pants, socks and one set of white jerseys. I just don't get it with all of this white. Even green socks from the Jets would have saved this one. Sorry to say peers, but I DO prefer the Flying Elvis helmet to Pat the Patriot. Pat is way too detailed of a helmet logo from afar.
#12. Jaguars-Raiders: JAX in all white, OAK in black/silver. Not even the Raider silver and black can save this one from the black overload. Really miss the teal in this matchup. No where near the top of this week's charts.
#11. Titans-Bills: TEN in white/columbia blue, BUF in blue/white. Boy oh boy, a lot of blue here. And a lot of white for that matter. But at least we have three distinct shades of blue, if that helps. I do like those Bills home blues, but I'm just ho humming this encounter.
#10. Cardinals-Vikings: ARZ in all white and MIN in purple/white. Two teams that made mid-00's overhauls to their looks. Cardinals in '05 and the Vikings a year later. Also made slight tweaks to their iconic helmet logos. And they did this swirly thing with their pant stripes. They semi-mirror each other with their revisions. But I happen to like the colors at play here, so I give this one a little nod of approval.
#9. Browns-Colts: CLE in all white, IND in blue/white. Very traditional and quite plain. Orange helmets, white jerseys with brown and orange trim against white helmets, blue jerseys and blue trim. Sorta dull, but at the same time, sorta nice.
#8. Ravens-Texans: BAL in all white and HOU in "battle" red/white. The Ravens go conservative here by going back to white pants and the Texans do the annual battle red gear. I think the Ravens might have looked a little better with the black pants, while the Texans wisely stayed away from the red pants. Still, I strongly think the reds should be a permanent move by the Texans. It does add brownie points for this teacher.
#7. Seahawks-49ers: SEA in white/gray, SF in red/gold. Real nice looking one here. Seahawks looking nice in their white and gray, with the Niners always sparkling in their bright reds and golds. I look favorably upon this matchup.
#6. Steelers-Bengals: PIT in white/yellow, CIN in alternate orange/white. Bengals rip out the orange jerseys, which frankly, should be the main dark jersey. I kinda would have like the Bengals in black pants with the oranges, but still, a good plus for this matchup with the Steelers in the dependable road white with the bright yellow trousers.
#5. Packers-Rams: GB in green/yellow, STL in all white. This was surprising! Rams so seldom in white at home. Only the second time in 18 years, in fact! Why? Well, supposedly, the Rams stated that they wore white because all of the blue jerseys and pants are already packed for next week's London game and the equipment guys wouldn't have enough time to wash and repair the blues for the transatlantic trip. So they say. In any event, this gives us an excuse to see the Packers in the sweet green/yellow combo. I could have stood to see blue pants on the Rams, but this was a jolt, in a very good way.
#4. Lions-Bears: DET in white/silver, CHI in navy/white, and with the Tigers in the World Series, this makes this, in the words of Dorothy and Dick Enberg, an "OH MY!" type of traditional matchup! These old timers make these colors work well, the navys, honolulus, oranges and silvers are a good blend of colors. I think this one of the better one for this week.
#3. Redskins-Giants: WSH in white/yellow, NYG in blue/gray. Another traditional looking affair with lots of good color. burgundy, yellow, blue, gray and a little red thrown in. Very good, fellas.
#2. Saints-Buccaneers: NO in white/black, TB in throwback orange/white, aka the "creamsicles." As creamsicle is my favorite ice cream flavor (in fact, there's some sitting in my freezer as I type), the Bucs make their now annual homage to the 1977-96 beauties1. And with the Saints helping with their best uni combo, it's a win-win. Ummm, creamsicle...
#1. Cowboys-Panthers: DAL in dark blue/silver, CAR in all white. Panthers in early season white at home (WAH) mode force the Pokes into the rare dark blue jersey mode. Anytime that happens, that's a great thing. The Cowboys darks, so rarely worn, have some nice touches not seen on the white tops. Such as a wordmark, a nice sleeve stripe pattern bolstered by the ubiquitous star, double outlined numbers and then complimented by the silver pants. The Panthers did well by going WAH for this game. Thanks, Panthers.
More throwbacks (and black alts) coming atcha next week. Stay tuned!
1- Technically it was a throwback to the 1976 orange jersey, which they didn't actually wear in the regular season, wearing white for all fourteen games. The 1977-1996 Buccaneers had a solid orange sock, it was only the 1976 model that had the striped socks. So the four times they have worn this throwback since 2009, is four more times than they ever actually wore it on the field.
Last week, we broke ground on the re-imagining of the second half of the NFL through the eyes of...well...myself. If, by chance, right now was the age of long-sleeve jerseys and leather helmets, what would the current crop of NFL teams look like on our HD TVs?
We continue today with the second group of AFC teams.
I present to you the current AFC East.
The AFC East
BUFFALO – The navy outlines are gone off of the stripes and numbers. Royal blue and red are used only. Blue is the primary jersey and I opted for a red alternate of the same design.
MIAMI – I haven’t been a fan of the new Dolphins unis since they began incorporating navy into the mix and all but lost the sleeve stripes. I went with early Marino-era sleeve stripes and removed their separations. An orange secondary didn’t look right so I stuck with white.
NEW ENGLAND – The primary design is based on the Pat Patriot era. The secondary is simply the reverse color scheme. The red, white, and blue helmet works well with either combination.
NY JETS – When the Jets became the Jets ("We Were The Titans"), they had some fairly unusual sleeve striping largely centered around the TV numbers. Well, no TV numbers here. I wanted to stick with something as different as the Jets’ sleeves were. I went with a design that reminded me of the Minneapolis Marines and the Staten Island Stapletons with the stripes between elbows and wrists. I applied the same stripes to the socks. A green wing on a white helmet and these are the Jets.
It's unfortunate that we are stuck with two teams in this division with essentially the same color schemes. However, with Buffalo being primarily blue and New England being primarily red, it should not cause an issue. Also, the different models of helmets and sleeve/shoulder stripes would help tell these rivals apart under the soft glow of black-and-white photography.
Next week, we head west for the penultimate division in our concept journey.
Most teams have their "road whites" and their home colors. Even teams like Miami and Cleveland that prefer to wear white at home (and generally have to wear white on the road as most teams do wear color at home) still occasionally break out their color jerseys at home, whether it be for a prime time or otherwise special game. The Dallas Cowboys are identified with their iconic white uniforms (and the - as one commenter called them - mint pants) but this week they are travelling to Charlotte to play the Carolina Panthers and we will get to see the Cowpokes in the rarely seen blues. Along with the Dallas blues, we will also be treated to two other of my favorite uniforms, the New England Patriots' red throwbacks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' orange throwbacks. The Patriots and Bucs have been wearing their throwbacks once a year for the last few years, while the Cowboys have sort of a tradition of not wearing the blues. So opponents, even those that regularly don't wear white at home sometimes will, just to make the Cowboys wear blue.
The Cowboys and Panthers have met eleven times, including twice in the postseason. In their second season, the Panthers surprised the football world by going 12-4 in the NFC West and they hosted Dallas in a divisional playoff and defeated them 26-14 in the two teams' first ever meeting. The Panthers would beat the Cowboys in Dallas during the 1997 regular season in their second meeting and again in the 2003 playoffs on their way to Super Bowl XXXVIII, but other than those three games, the Cowboys would own this series, having won the other eight meetings, including the last four in a row from 2005 through 2009.
I happen to like the Cowboys' blue uniforms, and wish we would see them more. They are certainly a favorite among fans, if you look at a crowd shot in new Cowboys stadium, you always see a lot of them, especially considering the team never wears them there.
One factor, we are still in pink breast month, I do think that shade of pink that they NFL has been promoting this month looks good with the Cowboys' dark blues. This is the first time the Bucs' throwbacks have been worn in October, and I'm not exactly sure how well the creamsicles are going to look with pink accountrements. We can only hope the Buccaneers follow the 49ers lead and keep the pink trim to a minimum, for I don't think we want too many Bucs' fans gouging their own eyes out. (Enough of them did that during the final ten games of last season.)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
One last thing I wanted to mention, I came across an interesting thread over at Chris Creamer's Sports Logos site discussing possible throwbacks that teams could wear in 2019 when the NFL celebrates it's 100th anniversary. There's a lot of interesting cross-franchise concepts that have been suggested, for instance this one of the Cincinnati Bengals as the Dayton Triangles. I don't agree with all of the executions of them, but all in all it's a pretty neat thread with many neat concepts.
Check it out here: http://boards.sportslogos.net/topic/89181-nfl-100th-anniversary/
1- I initially had those games listed as "Conference Championships", and not "divisional playoffs" because that is how the NFL Record & Fact Book has those games listed:
Why is that? Is it just because they were at the "final four level" -- wouldn't the pre-merger AFL & NFL League Championship Games correspond to post-merger Conference Championships?
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