The most important part of a football player’s gear is their helmet. Without it, untold damage could be done to the player’s brain. And in order to improve safety features (or otherwise just make the design better), the helmets of the NFL have changed multiple times throughout the years. Here are some interesting new designs for each of the NFL teams from our buddies over at BrainyPenny (except for D.C.’s team, they got some stuff they need to sort out). The helmets labeled 1 are the current helmet designs from the teams and the ones labeled 2-4 are the new concepts.
San Francisco 49ers
The shimmering gold design in concepts 2 and 4 are meant to pay homage to the actual 49ers from which the team gets their name, having come to California during the Gold Rush. Meanwhile, the deep red color of concept in design 3 serves to better unify the color of their helmet with the color of their jersey.
The plain, dark blue coloring of the current Bears helmet is a little boring, so each of these designs try to add a little something extra. However, the Bears’ big “C” endures in each of the designs. In concept 2, three bear claw marks have been added to the side of the helmet while moving the “C” closer to the front of the helmet. In concept 3, the size of the “C” has been increased, as well as using a sleeker two-tone design. Concept 4 stays closer to the original, but uses orange and white stripes to add more personality. All of the helmet designs also use a lighter shade of blue in comparison to the original design.
Sometimes people seem to forget that the Bengals are named for the Bengal tiger, despite the stripes on the helmet. So, as with concept 2, why not throw the image of a whole tiger on the helmet. Concept 3 and 4 use a little bit more modern designs. Concept 3 has the words “WHO DEY” on it with the Bengal’s “B” on the side. Meanwhile, concept 4 uses a simple stripe with a tiger-stripe pattern inside. The base color for both of these design is black.
The Bills’ current helmet design is already rather impressive, it’s difficult to improve upon, but there can still be some alterations to at least make it look a little bit more interesting. Concept 2 is more of a throwback to the red helmets the Bills wore in the 1990s. Concept 3 turns the entire helmet, aside from the stripe, to blue to better match the jerseys. And concept 4 adds in alternating stripes for depth.
The Broncos’ current design is a little stale. Concept 2 adds in a mountain range reminiscent of the Rockies, as well as an orange sky, both representing the team’s color and the sunset. Concept 3 adds in some more orange and lightens the color of the blue, giving it more muscle and character. Meanwhile, concept four, while sticking to the same general design, adds in more metallic colors to give it sleeker appearance.
The Browns helmet is rather boring. It’s just straight orange with a stripe down the center. Concept 2 uses the same concept but with two-toned brown and orange, just making it visually more appealing. Concept 3 adds in an image of a dog’s face, referencing the “Dawg pound”. Concept 4 uses a wider stripe and metallic orange paint to give it a more modern aesthetic.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
For concept 2, the design of the Bucs helmet trades out the red flag for a completely red, shining helmet color. Concept 3 also maintains that red color, albeit the color of the flag in image 1, but with the Jolly Roger pictured having been drastically increased in size. Concept 4 is more reminiscent of the current design, albeit with darker paint colors.
The current design of the Cardinals’ helmet could really use a reboot. The logo’s tiny right now, so why not expand it? Why not expand it to the size of the entire helmet, as shown in concepts 2 and 3. Concept 2 has a yellow face mask, having that act as the beak, while the Cardinals’ beak in concept 3 is a part of the helmet proper. Design 4 uses a similar design as the current one, but uses more metallic colors and splash more red to make it more interesting to look at.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers’ helmet has a similar issue as the Cardinals. It’s inoffensive, not bad, just a little boring. Concept 2 really really ups the ante, turning the helmet primarily blue with several bolts of lighting. Concept 3 changes the helmet design to a dark blue with some gold. Rather than having the lightning bolt, it has the Chargers’ team and city on the side. Concept 4 remains similar to the original design, but uses silver to appear more visually interesting, as well as having fainter lightning bolts across the helmet.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs’ current helmet design boasts a more interesting design than the Cardinals or Chargers, but that’s mostly due to the virtue of color. Concepts 2 and 4 add a little more texture to that red, with a triangular shape pattern and marble-like coloring respectively. Concept 3 goes a different route, using a mostly white helmet and removing the arrowhead around the “KC”, as well as it increasing in size.
With the Colts, we’re back to uninspired, white helmet designs. Concepts 2 and 3 at least have the benefit of using a color other than white. Concept 2 uses a shining blue while concept 3 uses a metallic black. Concept 4 is the most unique, with a grey and silver checkered pattern on the helmet.
The silver color of the Cowboys with the blue star is iconic, but it can still be better. All three concepts increase the size of the Cowboys’ iconic star. Concept 2 removes the shinier colors to add more of a contrast between the blue of the star and the grey of the helmet. Concept 3 layers the star with two other, larger stars, making the helmet mostly blue. Concept 3 puts the star over the backdrop of an American flag.
The Dolphins have a helmet design at least a little more interesting than some of the other teams. They have a stripe going down the middle. But the pure white on the rest of the helmet just makes it boring. Concept 2 changes the background of the dolphin to orange, with water on the lower half of the helmet. This gives the impression that the dolphin is jumping out of the water. Concept 3 has the blue-green of the dolphin take up a majority of the helmet, with the dolphin’s head being more prominent. Concept 4 takes a more subdued look to it, with silver coloring and green-blue waves on the bottom.
Each of the new designs adds a little extra something to the original look. Concept 2 adds a feather-like pattern to the green helmet. Concept changes the eagle’s wing to the entire head, taking up more space in comparison to before. And concept 4 changes the design to a silver, upturned wing. The latter design takes up more space, but has an overall more modern and visually appealing look to it.
The Falcons’ redesign does sort of the opposite as the Eagles. Concept 2 switches out the Falcon on the helmet for a flapping wing. Concept 3 uses the falcon’s head, having it more red than black to better contrast with the amount of black on the helmet. The final concept makes a majority of the helmet red, while keeping the mostly black falcon the same color and in the same position.
The Jaguars actually have one of the most interesting helmet designs in the NFL right now, with that half-black/half-gold appearance. However, there can still be improvements. All three concepts decide to add spots to the design, with 2 and 3 increasing the size of the jaguar’s head to encompass the whole helmet. Concept 4 goes a different route, keeping the Jaguars’ logo on a green, spotted background.
New York Jets
Not only is the Jets’ helmet boring, they don’t even have a particularly interesting logo to help compensate. As such, they’re probably in the need of an overhaul more than any other team. Concept 2 takes a more militaristic vibe, looking almost like an army helmet, or maybe even a tank. Concept 3 changes the logo to cover a large portion of the now green helmet. And concept 4 adds an interesting mixture of greens over the entire helmet.
The Lions’ team colors could really use some more contrast. As such, the helmet in concept 2 has been turned to black. Concept 4 went a similar route, but instead just turned the face mask black and gave the lion a black outline (a small change makes a big difference). Concept 3 is the most radical chance, making the helmet mostly blue and increasing the size of the lion to take up the entire helmet.
New York Giants
The Giants have an interesting design, but there’s still so much that they can do better. Concept 2 adds in an American flag pattern, but concepts 3 and 4 really step up the game. They add in the buildings of New York City. Concept 3 stays closer to the original in color, but concept four decided to go a little darker.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers’ helmet design is another one of the most iconic, especially when it comes to the logo. The logo’s important to each of these teams, so it wasn’t changed in any of these concepts (although it was made larger in two of them). Concept 2 keeps the same general coloring, albeit making the helmet appear more similar to cheese (“cheese heads”). The other ones have been mostly overtaken by green, with concept 4 using digital camo.
The Panthers’ helmet design doesn’t take much advantage of their team colors. Concept 2 turns the silver-colored helmet to blue. Concepts 3 and 4 change the size of the panther logo, with it taking up almost the entire helmet on concept 3. Concept 4 mostly just appears as a slightly altered version of the original, but is still an improvement.
New England Patriots
It’s weird that the team called the Patriots didn’t take more advantage of the patriotism aspect. Concept 2 turns the helmet to more of a reflective white, with stars on a blue shield at the bottom. Concept 3 also turns the base color of the helmet to white while having the Patriots’ logo take up the top half of the helmet. And concept 4 takes full advantage of America’s national colors.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders have a rather subdued look for a team that’s supposed to reference pirates. Their team colors don’t seem to be doing much in the term of favors in that regard. Concepts 2 and 3 turn the helmet black while increasing the size of the logo to take up most of the space. Concept 2 also went an extra step and used a more reflective material and dark grey stripes. Concept 4 kept things mostly the same, but opted to go with a more metallic grey.
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams’ helmet didn’t undergo much of a change between each of these designs. Concept 2 lightened the blue and made the horns gold. Concept 3 inverted the color scheme. And concept 4 added in the ram’s head to connect to the horns. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, but that doesn’t mean it can’t exactly be upgraded.
The differences between the original design and concept 2 for the Ravens aren’t very pronounced, but when it comes to the other two, it’s like night and day. Concept 3 simulates the appearance of a raven’s wings on the helmet while concept 4 removes most of the dark coloring to show of the Balitmore Raven’s big “B”.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints logo can be a lot more versatile than one might expect in terms of design. Concepts 2 and 3 opted to increase the size of the logo, putting it against a more metallic gold on the former and black on the latter. All three new designs also utilize a gold symbol as opposed to a black one. The fourth concept also uses a black helmet, albeit with more stripes to keep the design from being solid black.
Concepts 2 and 3 for this helmet decided to more engrain the Seahawks’ logo into the helmet. In concept 2 this was done by increasing the size of the seahawk’s head. With concept 3, they removed the white lines around the logo in order for it to feel more like it was a part of the helmet. Concept 4 took a different approach, just changing the pattern of the blue on the helmet, and actually making the Seahawks’ logo smaller.
The Steelers’ logo is another iconic, yet surprisingly versatile design. Concept 2 makes the mostly black helmet a little more faded and older looking, while also removing the extra colors from the logo itself. Concept 3 changes the design so that the three stars for the team are outside of their shield and take up more of the helmet. The design for concept 4 didn’t change much, just adding in a stripe on the top of the helmet and moving the logo closer to the back of the helmet.
The Texans have the opportunity to make some crazy designs, given their team colors and logo. Each one of these concepts are radically different than the original, and certainly more interesting. It’s a little difficult to describe them at a first glance, but that doesn’t exactly make it a bad thing.
While most of these designs have altered the logo of some of these teams in some way, this one is no exception. Concepts 2 and 3 have the three stars of the Titans in front of a sword. The former concept uses a blue background while the latter uses a silver helmet. Concept 3 is potentially the most intriguing, having the blue and red flames on the Titans logo make up the general design of the helmet.
The Vikings’ helmets are intended to look similar to, well, a viking’s helmet. The horns are present in all three designs, but concept 3 changes it up a little bit more. It inverts the color of the horns and the general helmet color, making the horns look more like an addition as opposed to a 3-D shape. Concept 2 keeps the horns the way they are, but makes the top yellow with braids coming down the back, like its someone’s hair. Concept 4 is similar to the normal helmet, but has some black on the bottom for contrast, as well as thinner horns.