Cardinals join the black helmet trend

Black is the new black. In the NFL at least.

The NFL has given the green light for teams to play with alternate helmets as well as alternate uniforms this season. The rule change announced in 2021 reflects a years-long policy banning the use of multiple helmets in the name of player safety.

Now teams don’t have to mix and match throwback yarns with their contemporary covers. Several teams have announced new helmets this season, with some like the New England Patriots bringing back fan-favorite retro options. Meanwhile, others are heading into the decidedly dark. Whatever the path, it makes sense for teams to spark interest in off-season marketing while also offering another show to audiences with disposable incomes.

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Here’s a look at the teams that will be playing alternative helmets for specific matches in the 2022 season.

Cardinals go ‘black galaxy’

The Arizona Cardinals joined the blackout party by announcing “black galaxy” helmets with “granite red spots” on July 24. Quarterback Keller Murray presented the helmets alongside JJ Watt and Budda Baker in his first public engagement with the Cardinals since signing a $230 million extension.

The Cardinals will wear the new helmets in three games this season.

Keeler Murray has a new contract and a new helmet for 2022 (Emilee Chinn / Getty Images)

Bears turn orange

The Bears also announced new helmets on July 24, but they took a very different path than the Cardinals. They avoid the throwback look, too. Instead, they’ll bring the ornament from their standard gear to the fore and look me decidedly in bright orange caps.

They will be paired with the matching orange jersey that will surely stand out on October 13 and October 30 against the Washington Commanders and the Dallas Cowboys.

The White Tiger will appear for the first time in Cincinnati

It’s a new era of winning in Cincinnati. Bengalis are not shy about it. On July 22, they announced the much-anticipated debut of the white Bengal tiger.

Helmets are meant to be paired with white uniforms to complete the look. When they will first appear is not clear. Joe Burrow and Jamar Chase are sure to make them look good when they do.

Planes go in stealth mode

The Jets has announced matte black helmets for the 2022 season that will be emblazoned with the Jets dark green logo that can be difficult to spot from a distance. If so, it will align with the theme of the stealth fighter jets they are looking for. They will be wearing it on October 30th against the Patriots, November 27th against the Bears and December 22nd against the Jaguars.

The Eagles reject Kelly Green

The Eagles passed the chance back to Randall Cunningham Kelly Greens in favor of a much less interesting glossy black helmet to pair with the black outfit. why? The Eagles won twice by wearing black in 2021. It’s an uninspiring choice and a missed opportunity.

The good news is that Kelly Greene will be back in 2023.

Cowboys Reconnect the Sixties

The Dallas Cowboys are walking back in what was probably an easy decision for the star. On July 21, they announced the return of the white shell helmet with a blue star and stripes tied to the Don Meredith-quarterback teams of the 1960s.

They are meant to be paired with coordinating white and blue uniforms and featured in the Thanksgiving game against the New York Giants.

Giants go back to the days of LT

Speaking of giants, they’re also taking the throwback route, only more recent. They called on Lawrence Taylor to reintroduce the classic blue uniforms and helmets named “The Giants” associated with the glory days of the 1980s and early 1990s that saw them win two Super Bowls under Bill Parcells. Good call. They will wear it on October 2 against the Bears and December 4 against the Leaders, two other franchises associated with the era.

Cheetahs turn black naturally

The Carolina Panthers jump on the dark train, and offer an all-black helmet and jersey for the 2022 season. The look makes more sense here because they’re Panthers and all. They will make their debut in Thursday’s home game against rival Atlanta Falcons on November 10.

Texas tuxedo in red

The Texans don’t have a lot of history to go back to—they didn’t debut until 2002. So they’re trending with modern looks including bright red helmets that the franchise describes as “the most important costume change.” The Texans call the look “Battle Red,” and they’ll be wearing it on November 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

New England brings back the Patriots

Given the opportunity, the Patriots made the simple and clearly correct decision. Like cowboys and giants, they went backwards. The Patriots are back, to the delight of a fan base that has been completely spoiled since he initially retired.

The Patriots are bringing back the white helmets, adorned with the Patriot logo, to pair with the classic red uniform. The gear represents a much darker era in pre-Brady/Belichick New England football that has nothing to do with winning. Yet it remains popular. New England did not initially announce the dates the Patriots would return.

All Saints in the Black trend

Much like their NFL brethren, the New Orleans Saints are using their newfound freedom to embrace black helmets. It’s an obvious, if not, interesting choice that fits naturally in the gold and black color scheme. The alternative – some kind of purple/yellow/green king cake monster – wouldn’t be pretty.

The Hawks are back in the Red Helmets

The Hawks take the bouncing way back as far as they can. On October 16 against the San Francisco 49ers, the Falcons will wear red helmets dating back to the series’ debut season in 1966. The Falcons are more associated with the all-black look adopted during the early 1990s Jerry Glanville era. But old school fans have watched them wear red for decades. Red hoodies would pair nicely with black jerseys from the ’60s.

It is clear that leaders do not go to the path of regression

Washington’s leaders revealed their replacement black helmets with jersey-number emblems way back in February when they revealed they were the leaders. Like most other things related to restarting, it’s fine. They avoid looking at the bounce for obvious reasons.

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