All-Time Uniform Matchups - Conference Championships Edition

By Kyle Standerfer

Note: this list will not include yesterdays games. It's ranking each of the AFC and NFC championship games by the uniforms each participant wore. I will only include the games since the 1970 merger.

First, the "sour cream" games.

January 3, 1971; Raiders-Colts - AFC Championship: it's a shame that the very first one of these isn't ranked. But I just am not a fan of the silver numbers Oakland wore with white jerseys that year.

December 30, 1973; Vikings-Cowboys - NFC Championship - Minnesota's purple jerseys without stripes looked like the life was sucked out of them.

December 30. 1973; Raiders-Dolphins - AFC Championship: Miami goes WAH - and not against Dallas. No likey.

January 11, 1981; Raiders-Chargers - AFC Championship: the Air Coryell era Chargers went WAH every game from 1978-1983. Thus not enough of them in their blue. This game is no exception.

January 22, 1983; Cowboys-Redskins - NFC Championship: double SC. The Redskins in those awful burgundy pants, and always going WAH under Joe Gibbs.

January 23, 1983; Jets-Dolphins - AFC Championship: Miami does the same thing again and again.

January 8, 1984; 49ers-Redskins - NFC Championship: Washington's unis made them dead to me for 3 decades.

January 6, 1985; Steelers-Dolphins - AFC Championship: and again.

January 12, 1986; Patriots-Dolphins - AFC Championship: and again.

January 11, 1987; Broncos-Browns - AFC Championship: Cleveland was all WAH 1985-1988. That has been an on and off again tradition for the Brownies. But I just don't like it.

January 11, 1987; Redskins-Giants - NFC Championship: my "SC" rule applies to Washington's unis in road games too. And when they actually wore burgundy jerseys. They were just dead to me uni wise.

January 17, 1988; Vikings-Redskins - NFC Championship: and again.

January 12, 1992; Lions-Redskins - NFC Championship: and again.

January 17, 1993; Bills-Dolphins - AFC Championship: last one of Miami involved in this.

January 23, 1994; Chiefs-Bills - AFC Championship: KC in all white was no good in my view.

January 15, 1995; Cowboys-49ers - NFC Championship: both teams contributed to this bad uni matchup. Dallas' retro-mutant unis against SF in white pants. Made me ill.

January 11, 1998; Packers-49ers - NFC Championship: same as DAL-SF 3 years earlier. At least GB didn't contribute to that.

January 21, 2007; Saints-Bears - NFC Championship: the good part of Sean Payton is he helped make them competitive most of the time. The bad part: those black pants, whether with white or black jerseys.

January 18, 2009; Eagles-Cardinals - NFC Championship: Philly in green pants - its just wrong.

January 18, 2009; Ravens-Steelers - AFC Championship: BAL in black pants, a bad by-product of the John Harbaugh era.

January 23, 2011; Jets-Steelers - AFC Championship: NYJ in green pants - gross.

January 22, 2012; Ravens-Patriots - AFC Championship: see BAL-PIT from three years earlier.

January 20, 2013; Ravens-Patriots - AFC Championship: once again.

That leaves 65 games - slightly less than 3/4 of such games, for me to rank.

65. January 8, 1984; Seahawks-Raiders - AFC Championship: Seattle's first season with their logo on the sleeves instead of the stripes. Just so underwhelming.

64. January 18, 2004; Colts-Patriots - AFC Championship: Indy's last game ever with the blue face mask. It was the first of IND-NE overload.

63. January 20, 2008; Chargers-Patriots - AFC Championship: both wore their regular stuff, but quite dull. NE red trim and SD gold trim didn't do enough to liven it.

62. January 15, 1995; Chargers-Steelers - AFC Championship: I just wasn't "wowed" by the uniforms in this game.

61. January 12, 1992; Broncos-Bills - AFC Championship: I don't know, but for some reason this game just didn't do it for me, the way a few regular season games between these same two in the exact same unis in Orchard Park, did.

60. January 21, 2007; Patriots-Colts - AFC Championship: good thing each teams' blue is of a different shade, and that NE had silver and hints of red.

59. January 14, 2001; Vikings-Giants - NFC Championship: their were different palettes, but I just find it a little underwhelming.

58. December 31, 1972; Dolphins-Steelers - AFC Championship: the aqua numerals on Miami's white jerseys look a lot shinier on depictions of them on this site than they do on NFL Films clips. Pittsburgh's black and gold isn't enough to merit this game a higher ranking.

57. January 22, 2006; Panthers-Seahawks - NFC Championship: Carolina and Seattle were decent enough, but not memorable, either in the actual game, or the uniforms.

56. January 1, 1978; Vikings-Cowboys - NFC Championship: both of them in their regular stuff, and it's the Cowboys involved, so WAH is acceptable. But it just doesn't have that "wow" factor.

55. January 17, 1988; Browns-Broncos - AFC Championship: a decent looking uniform game. But I like so many better.

54. January 4, 1976; Raiders-Steelers - AFC Championship: the one of the three penultimate games of the season between these two played at Three Rivers - on a sheet of ice. That seemed to diminish the uniforms. Especially Oakland's.

53. January 12, 1997; Jaguars-Patriots - AFC Championship: there was enough teal in Jacksonville's numbers and trim to make the contrast against NEs blue and silver decent. But so many are better IMO.

52. January 6, 1985; Bears-49ers - NFC Championship: overall, I've always liked Chicago in white pants better, even with white jerseys. But their navy pants with white jerseys are acceptable.

51. January 7, 1979; Oilers-Steelers - AFC Championship: the unis were the same as they were one year later, but the wet stuff diminished their shine.

50. January 2, 1972; 49ers-Cowboys - NFC Championship: I kind of feel like I'm underrating this game too. The two teams unis contrasted well not just in a vacuum, but on the Texas Stadium turf that day, where both end zones were painted, one with Dallas' colors; the other with San Francisco's colors.

49. January 14, 2001; Ravens-Raiders - AFC Championship: Baltimore with the purple numbers and black helmets, and the purple stripe down their white pants, provided a decent enough contrast with the silver and black.

48. January 14, 1996; Packers-Cowboys - NFC Championship: the colors contrasted well like always. Just that seeing them on the Texas Stadium turf every year got a little stale.

47. January 23, 1994; 49ers-Cowboys - NFC Championship: this just seems like an afterthought.

46. January 11, 1981; Cowboys-Eagles - NFC Championship: Philly in their Kelly green against Dallas in white wouldn't have been bad. Just that this break with what they normally did (but ended up doing a lot more a few years after - going WAH) was at the time a good thing - because it was an example of Dallas and an opponent engaging in uniform gamesmanship.

45. January 6, 1980; Rams-Buccaneers - NFC Championship: I'm underrating this game. Oh well.

44. January 19, 2003; Buccaneers-Eagles - NFC Championship: these two teams met in Philly in the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons, and in the regular season in '02. Thus, although the color contrasts are good, it happening every year took some of the shine off of it.

43. January 10, 1982; Chargers-Bengals - AFC Championship: the Freezer Bowl pitted against each other two teams with distinct color palettes. I just liked so many better.

42. December 29, 1974; Rams-Vikings - NFC Championship: so this game is in the lower portion of the third quartile of ranked games, while the one two years later, in the same time slot, and more or less the same sunlight, was in the top ten. It shows that my ranking aren't 100% consistent, and I'm not trying to make them that way. It's all because . . . feelings. I mean that seriously.

41. January 22, 2006; Steelers-Broncos - AFC Championship: black, gold and white against navy, white and orange. Both teams wore their regular stuff, and it looked decent. Even though I hated the final score.

40. January 3, 1971; Cowboys-49ers - NFC Championship: the last game ever at old Kezar Stadium was a good uni contrast. Just that newer iterations of DAL-SF looked better IMO. I don't find the Cowboys pants from that era, which looked more like mixed cement, very flattering on them.

39. January 23, 2005; Patriots-Steelers - AFC Championship: I ranked the game 3 years earlier not too insignificantly higher. But this was a good color contrast too.

38. January 17, 1999; Jets-Broncos - AFC Championship: I was never a fan of the Broncos going to navy as their primary color, even as they won back-to-back SBs the first two years they went that way. But that uniform contrasted well with NYJs green and white that day.

37. January 20, 2008; Giants-Packers - NFC Championship: this is one game that I've underrated, but I just liked some others better.

36. January 12, 1997; Panthers-Packers - NFC Championship: good color contrast in the first championship game in Wisconsin in 29 years.

35. January 2, 1972; Colts-Dolphins - AFC Championship: the only time thus far we saw Miami in their aqua jerseys in an AFC Title game. Other matchups are better, but I have to appreciate the one time Miami did that in that round.

34. January 12, 1986; Rams-Bears - NFC Championship: LA in their white, blue and gold against CHI in their classic colors.

33. January 19, 2003; Titans-Raiders - AFC Championship: TEN-OAK was a decent enough color contrast, and at night it looked even better.

32. January 20, 2013; 49ers-Falcons - NFC Championship: both teams had red and white, but SF had gold helmets and pants and Atlanta had black helmets. And under the Georgia Dome lights, it looked good.

31. January 11, 1998; Broncos-Steelers- AFC Championship: Denver's road unis aren't the greatest, but Pittsburgh's home uniforms that day enhanced them. And I'm sure they will when they meet at Heinz Field next season.

30. January 17, 1999; Falcons-Vikings - NFC Championship: not my favorite uniforms of all time from either side, but put them together and it looked good on TV and in highlight clips. White, black, red and silver against purple and white with hints of gold is fine by me.

29. January 14, 1996; Colts-Steelers - AFC Championship: I like this matchup more than I thought I would. Indy in their white and blue against Pittsburgh in their black and gold.

28. January 14, 1990; Browns-Broncos - AFC Championship: one minor point about Denver's uniforms during that era. I liked that they changed their sleeve striping scheme when they did - made it go better IMO with the pant striping scheme they changed in 1986. Plus in the sunshine it looked good against Cleveland in their orange helmets, with brown numbers and orange/brown trim.

27. January 24, 2010; Jets-Colts - AFC Championship: the there were a combined 3 colors between the two teams, but put them together, and it shows me how you can take a little and make it a lot. Those two look great at Lucas Oil Stadium. And NYJ wore white pants, which they haven't always done the last decade.

26. December 31, 1972; Cowboys-Redskins - NFC Championship: I don't like WAS nickname or logo, but I have always loved their color scheme. I see no hypocrisy in that. It always looked good against Dallas.

25. January 27, 2002; Eagles-Rams - NFC Championship: Philly in their white jerseys with midnight green helmets, numbers and trim against STL in their navy and gold, Great to see.

24. January 14, 1990; Rams-49ers - NFC Championship: I just like 23 others better, but this was a great uni game.

23. January 18, 2004; Panthers-Eagles - NFC Championship: Carolina's white, silver, black and light blue against Philly in midnight green and white looked good. I just liked 22 other games better.

22. January 23, 2000; Buccaneers-Rams - NFC Championship: TB in their pewter helmets and pants with red (almost orange) numbers against STL in the last time they would wear that version of blue jerseys as their regular home uniforms (now they do twice a year as throwbacks).

21. January 6, 1980; Oilers-Steelers - AFC Championship: these same two teams met one year earlier in the same round, in the same time slot, but this time their unis weren't dipped constantly in puddles of cold wet stuff, thus their colors came through better.

20. January 23, 2011; Packers-Bears - NFC Championship: GB-CHI - classic NFL matchup, and that day the color contrast shined through. GB in their white jerseys with green numbers, plus gold pants and helmets, against Chicago in their dark navy, white and orange.

19. January 27, 2002; Patriots-Steelers - AFC Championship: this was in the sunshine. NE's road uni is dull on it's own, but an opponent's unis can do wonders for it. Pittsburgh in their black and gold is a classic example of this.

18. January 4, 1976; Cowboys-Rams - NFC Championship: unlike 3 years later, Los Angeles wore their blue jerseys against Dallas in their whites. It looked great in the California sunshine.

17. January 10, 1982; Cowboys-49ers - NFC Championship: the classic nature of this matchup is legend. The classic nature of the uniforms is for us geeks. It's the last game with Dallas in that number and letter style. It looked good against SF in their scarlet and gold.

16. December 29, 1974; Steelers-Raiders - AFC Championship: same as their matchup two years later, but I liked the '76 matchup better.

15. January 20, 1991; Raiders-Bills - AFC Championship: LA (later Oakland) and Buffalo always looked great together whether in upstate New York or California. This game was no exception.

14. January 8, 1989; 49ers-Bears - NFC Championship: SF in one of their 3 NFC title games in white jerseys, out of 15 total, in white jerseys. Contrasted well against Chicago's navy (almost black) helmets and jerseys with white pants and numerals plus orange trim. Good matchup for a twilight game in the bitter cold.

13. January 19, 2014; Patriots-Broncos - AFC Championship: it's the first time in 22 years that Denver wore orange jerseys against New England. And it looked great that day.

12. January 7, 1979; Cowboys-Rams - NFC Championship: the Rams decided to wear WAH for all except the two home prime time games and against SF in 1978. That means two games against Dallas in their blue jerseys. Cowboys games are when WAH is OK by me, whether in Dallas or anywhere else. And it looked good each time I saw it.

11. January 23, 2000; Titans-Jaguars - AFC Championship: Tennessee in their first year with those colors against JAX in their teal and black with white pants and hints of gold. I was working when that game was played but the highlights and NFL Films clips showed me how great it looked.

10. January 19, 2014; 49ers-Seahawks - NFC Championship: SF in the road version of their classic uniform against Seattle in their dark blue, spiced with plenty of neon green, with gray numerals, and those blue helmets. It looked great watching it last year. As you'll see below, I find that the NFC Title games seem to have, overall, better quality uniform matchups than the AFC games.

9. January 20, 1991; Giants-49ers - NFC Championship: NY had more blue in their road unis - it was in their numerals and more prominent in the pant stripes. Plus the helmet was a darker shade of blue. But it still contrasted beautifully with SF's classic colors.

8. December 26, 1976; Rams-Vikings - NFC Championship: LA in their blue and gold with white jerseys against Minnesota in their grape-juice-like purple jerseys and helmets white white pants and gold trim. One of the best ever, even better than the same matchup two years earlier.

7. January 8, 1989; Bills-Bengals - AFC Championship: Buffalo in their red white and blue done their way in the Marv Levy era against Cincy in their black, orange and white with stripes all over. Looked beautiful that day.

6. December 26, 1976; Steelers-Raiders - AFC Championship: I don't know why, I just liked the unis on those two - at the same time - a lot more than many other conference championship matchups. Even more than the one these two had two years earlier.

5. January 22, 2012; Giants-49ers - NFC Championship: it was at night and raining, but the colors still contrasted beautifully. NY in their blue helmets, white jerseys with bright red numbers and trim, plus gray pants. On the other side, it was SF in their classic home colors.

4. January 24, 2010; Vikings-Saints - NFC Championship: in an era when the Saints got their uniforms wrong so often, they got it right all 3 times in their championship run. This game was no exception. The fact that they wore gold pants meant that I could highlight what I like best about their black jerseys - the gold numbers plus the gold names on the back - with that type of font. Contrasted with Minnesota's white and purple - with hints of gold, one of the best matchups ever.

3. January 1, 1978; Raiders-Broncos - AFC Championship: Oakland in their white jerseys with black numbers, silver pants and helmets, against Denver in their orange jerseys white white pants and numbers, blue and white sleeve stripes, orange and blue pant stripes, and blue helmets. Love this visual.

2. January 17, 1993; Cowboys-49ers - NFC Championship: the muddy field dirtied a lot of uniforms. But that still didn't take away one of the most beautiful uniform color contrasts of all time. Add to that the fact that there was both sunshine and the sun blocked by cloud cover, and I could see the beauty in more than one way.

1. January 23, 2005; Falcons-Eagles - NFC Championship: these two teams have met 5 times at the Link since they both are in their current uni iterations. This NFC Title tilt is the only time both of them got it right, when in the other 4 contests (all regular season), at least one of them got it wrong. Anyway, Atlanta in their white jerseys and pants with red numbers and trim that jump out at you, along with their black helmets. Contrast that with Philly's midnight green jerseys and helmets along with white pants plus some black trim (which is kept at a nice minimum). It was a beautiful look that day.

2014 Divisional Playoff uniform matchup rankings

by Tim Brulia

I'll be honest, I wasn't too thrilled with what the Divisional Round had to offer. But, here we go:

4) Ravens-Patriots: BAL in white/black, NE in navy/silver. A playoff matchup we've seen plenty of in recent years. No special thing these days. But the colors do vary, I have to say what with black, navy some silver and purple and hints of red and gold mixed in and they're not that bad. But repetition dulls the senses, I reckon. With the Patriots refusing to go all navy, the Ravens could have tried their hand at, oh, all white? Still say a pair of purple pants as an option would certainly be interesting for the Ravens.

3) Panthers-Seahawks: CAR in white/white, SEA in navy/navy. You know, I was ready to call this one a yawner. But the more I see photos from this game, the more I like it. Not enough to bump it from 3 to 2, but a much firmer #2. It hit me what would really make the Panthers white jerseys pop, change the numbers from black over carolina blue to carolina blue over black. The Seahawks in the bold all navy and their success in them is quickly becoming the signature uniform of this franchise, more than the blue/silver/green of the early days, more than the gunmetal blue of the 2002-2011 years. I'm not complaining. A nice blend of colors, unique colors,

2) Colts-Broncos: IND in white/white, DEN in orange/white. The Colts in blue jerseys can work well if complimented well. Last week against the Bengals was a great example. The Colts in white needs a TON of help to work right. And really, only a very small handful of teams can do that. Fortunately for them, the Broncos are one of them. The Broncos beautiful combo of navy helmet, orange jerseys and white pants brings the best of the rather mundane Colt whites. That's not easy. An all white ensemble (well, fortunately the socks are blue) with only blue to mark the stripes, helmet logo, numerals and NOB's makes for a uni that needs a better than average companion to make a matchup worthwhile. Thanks, Broncos.

1) Cowboys-Packers: DAL in white/mint, GB in green/yellow. Ice Bowl II? Sorry, Fox, No. But these unis aren't too far from what they looked like way back then. Same somewhat design principles, with a 21st century cut and helmet mode. The Cowboy whites are overused and tired but as always, the Packers green over yellow comes to the rescue. Paired against the Packer green, the Cowboys batch of blues burst forth with more vibrancy and spark. A good one!

Next up, the Conference Championships.

Take care!


Blog Archive