NFL Power Rankings: Who has the best jersey of all time?

Yahoo Sports

A couple of NFL teams have been making fashion changes in the past few weeks.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons recently unveiled new jerseys. The Cleveland Browns followed suit. The Indianapolis Colts revamped some of their team branding (and the Los Angeles Rams “revealed” a new … logo) for the 2020 season.

For the most part, the changes have been a mixed bag among the football community. The Bucs underwhelmed (although their new color-rush look isn’t bad). The Browns hit the nail right on the head, honoring the past and present. The Falcons’ new jerseys ... well ... at least they have a good offense!

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As someone who loves jerseys probably more than he should, it got me thinking as to why teams would mess with a good thing — or worse, how, when trying to upgrade an outdated look, they more often than not end up with a polarizing product that ruins everything in the process.

Sure, it’s subjective, but so is being a fan. And no one wants the team they root for to have ugly, boring jerseys.

So, this all begs the question: If you had the No. 1 pick in a sports jersey fantasy draft, which would you take?

Which team has the best NFL jersey of all time? (Photo by Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)
Which team has the best NFL jersey of all time? (Photo by Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)

Here’s my crack at an NFL jersey power rankings list, 32-1. Every team will have its best look (in this editor’s humble opinion) represented here.

Agree? Wholeheartedly disagree? Let us know in the comments below and hit us up @YahooFantasy!

No. 32: Jacksonville Jaguars (teal, 1995-2001)

I don’t know what the hell is going on with the Jaguars’ uniform situation but I can’t say they had a lot to work with in the beginning. Normally, I try to find the good in funky-colored jerseys, but this relatively young franchise seems to still be finding its look. That’s fine.

It's been an ... odd jersey since the Jimmy Smith days. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
It's been an ... odd jersey since the Jimmy Smith days. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

No. 31: Cincinnati Bengals (black, 1968-1980)

This has never been a good jersey, but you gotta give it to the team for staying true to its namesake. Few animal-based teams (across all sports) match that creature’s color more than the Bengals. (Let’s just be thankful they never went with orange pants).

Here's Ken Anderson in the Bengals' clean old-school look. (Getty Images)
Here's Ken Anderson in the Bengals' clean old-school look. (Getty Images)

Maybe one day they’ll find the middle ground between the more muted look of yesteryear, and the “Hey, our mascot is a tiger, in case you didn’t know!” look of today.

No. 30: Carolina Panthers (white, 1995-2001)

Not sure whose idea it was to go with sky blue, silver and black all in one jersey, but, hey, it could be worse.

Pretty bold to put an entire panther-head on jersey sleeves, as seen here on Muhsin Muhammad. (Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images)
Pretty bold to put an entire panther-head on jersey sleeves, as seen here on Muhsin Muhammad. (Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images)

No. 29: Houston Texans (navy, 2002-present)

You kind of have to give such a young franchise like the Texans a break. There’s nothing especially wrong with this jersey, but you can tell from their countless variations of the same red/white/navy blue that they’re trying to see which look is best. I expect a major change sometime in the near future.

Andre Johnson is one of the greatest players in Texans history — but the team's jersey is not. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)
Andre Johnson is one of the greatest players in Texans history — but the team's jersey is not. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)

No. 28: Washington Redskins (burgundy, 1979-1993)

Washington’s look hasn’t really changed over the years. It’s not a terrible jersey, but it’s not life-changing either, hence their spot on this list. Their look during the 80s/early 90s, however, is best, donning a cleaner look and dropping the yellow/mustard pants.

Doug Williams ready to sling it in the clean late-80s jersey. (Photo by Nate Fine/Getty Images/NFL)
Doug Williams ready to sling it in the clean late-80s jersey. (Photo by Nate Fine/Getty Images/NFL)

No. 27: Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals (cardinal red, 1980-1989)

The muted red of this jersey was super sweet, and it looked even better when paired with the white helmet and the defined logo.

Roy Green scored in style. (Getty Images)
Roy Green scored in style. (Getty Images)

No. 26: Atlanta Falcons (black, 1990-1996)

Let’s get this out of the way: The Falcons blew it with their jersey redesign. They should have looked more to the past, like the jersey chosen here.

The pants were a bit much, but that jersey looked great, especially on this interception return by Deion Sanders. (Photo by Gin Ellis/Getty Images)
The pants were a bit much, but that jersey looked great, especially on this interception return by Deion Sanders. (Photo by Gin Ellis/Getty Images)

No. 25: New Orleans Saints (color rush white, 2016-present)

This jersey is proof that a new look can be better (and it hearkens back to the brief period the Saints went with all-whites, too; can’t be successful in the future if you don’t honor the past).

Even with stains, this jersey still looks good on Alvin Kamara. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Even with stains, this jersey still looks good on Alvin Kamara. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

No. 24 New York Jets (green, 1978-1997)

It irks me that the Jets’ look in this span so closely mirrored the Eagles’, but that’s neither here nor there. The Jets had a good, clean style going during this time (and that logo seemed ahead of its time, too). 

Al Toon and the Jets were sporting jerseys that looked ahead of their time. (Photo by Tom Berg/Getty Images)
Al Toon and the Jets were sporting jerseys that looked ahead of their time. (Photo by Tom Berg/Getty Images)

No. 23: Seattle Seahawks (blue, 1976-1999)

Hey, I’m as confused as you as to why the Seahawks went with neon green in recent years. It would’ve been better to tap into the look chosen here, which is clearly Seattle’s best. (One note: I prefer the smaller letters of the late 70s than those of the mid-80s/early 90s).

That blue on Steve Largent's jersey really catches the eye, huh? (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
That blue on Steve Largent's jersey really catches the eye, huh? (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

No. 22: Baltimore Ravens (black, 1997-2008)

The introduction of a black jersey took this team’s look to the next level. This jersey is further proof that the right colors can mesh well when done correctly — and they fit perfectly with the team’s logo and mascot. With that said, the enhanced gold numbering of recent seasons seems a tad too much (but the font of that numbering is iconic).

As awesome as the all-purple looks, you can't beat the all-black, as shown here on Jamal Lewis. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
As awesome as the all-purple looks, you can't beat the all-black, as shown here on Jamal Lewis. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

No. 21: Detroit Lions (Honolulu blue throwbacks, 2017-present)

Here’s something you don’t see every day: A modern take on a throwback look ... that somehow might be better than the original.

If I was Matthew Stafford here, I'd be pretty happy to be wearing this jersey. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
If I was Matthew Stafford here, I'd be pretty happy to be wearing this jersey. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

No. 20: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (“creamsicle,” 1976-1996)

This jersey has become something of a punch line over the years. Laugh if you like, but the “Creamsicle” look of the late-70s/mid-90s was fearless and, maybe most importantly, it grows on you.

Josh Freeman was ... not a good quarterback — but look at those jerseys! (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
Josh Freeman was ... not a good quarterback — but look at those jerseys! (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

No. 19: Kansas City Chiefs (red, present)

Aside from a shrunken logo and a couple technical changes here and there, the Chiefs jersey hasn’t really changed since they became the Chiefs. Do we think they need an upgrade?

A jersey fit for a Super Bowl champion. (Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
A jersey fit for a Super Bowl champion. (Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(Hint: Probably not)

No. 18: Chicago Bears (navy blue, 1974-2003)

Count me in as “Team Orange C” on the helmet, but this is a jersey list. You can’t go wrong with such a clean look, as the dark blue muted the orange well (although they got a little wild with the very-loud-all-orange jersey of later years).

What a jersey, what an icon, as seen here on Walter Payton. (Photo by John Biever/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
What a jersey, what an icon, as seen here on Walter Payton. (Photo by John Biever/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

No. 17: Denver Broncos (orange, 1980-1996)

Orange is a tough, tough color to work with on a jersey — especially if it’s the main color of the look. The Broncos, however, made it work for many years. With that said, most of the nostalgia and love for this look comes from the old helmets/logos, and not the jerseys themselves. Still, a fantastic jersey nonetheless.

John Elway and the Broncos were killing it with this look in the mid-90s. (Photo by Albert Dickson/Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images)
John Elway and the Broncos were killing it with this look in the mid-90s. (Photo by Albert Dickson/Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images)

No. 16: Miami Dolphins (aqua, 1966-1997)

There’s a reason this jersey spent so many years with only subtle changes to numbering and color. It’s so clean, which is not an easy thing to do when you’re working with aqua and orange, so Miami deserves recognition for this.

Sometimes, funky colors can work on a jersey. Dan Marino and the Dolphins made it happen. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
Sometimes, funky colors can work on a jersey. Dan Marino and the Dolphins made it happen. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

(Quick side note: Always found it hilarious that the dolphin’s helmet seemed always a bit too big for him on the logo).

No. 15: Cleveland Browns (Brown, 1960-1974/1985-1995)

I’ll keep this one short. It’s not often you see brown as the main color of a jersey. It’s even rarer to see that brown done right. Put some respect on this look.

Bernie Kosar and the Browns — simple and clean. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Bernie Kosar and the Browns — simple and clean. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

No. 14: Minnesota Vikings (Purple, 1996-2005)

Arguably the best use of purple on a jersey in all of sports. Period.

What do you think of Randy Moss in this jersey? (Photo By JERRY HOLT/Star Tribune via Getty Images)
What do you think of Randy Moss in this jersey? (Photo By JERRY HOLT/Star Tribune via Getty Images)

No. 13: Pittsburgh Steelers (black, 1968-present)

Black and yellow isn’t the greatest color combination for a jersey (the Boston Bruins probably do it best) but the Steelers’ clean look has been virtually unchanged for over 50 years. Just stay away from the hideous, oddly striped throwbacks (looks like a bumblebee stuck in peanut butter).

Sadly, you cannot purchase Troy Polamalu hair along with your Steelers jersey. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
Sadly, you cannot purchase Troy Polamalu hair along with your Steelers jersey. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

No. 12: Green Bay Packers (green, 1975-present)

Why haven’t they dropped a yellow version of their jersey in the modern era? Just go full Oakland A’s with it! Until then, the classic look will have to do (and it’ll do just fine — just keep those damn throwbacks away from me).

Brett Favre and the Packers somehow made green, yellow, and white work all in one jersey. Mandatory Credit: Eliot J. Schechter /Allsport
Brett Favre and the Packers somehow made green, yellow, and white work all in one jersey. Mandatory Credit: Eliot J. Schechter /Allsport

No. 11: Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers (light blue, 1972-1992)

Probably the easiest pick of this list, as the Oilers jersey completely blows the modern Titans one out of the water. Pro tip: If you start your jersey off with a soft baby blue, you’re already winning.

Truly a thing of beauty, as seen here on Ernest Givins. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
Truly a thing of beauty, as seen here on Ernest Givins. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

No. 10: Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts (royal blue, 1972-2010)

The Colts’ look is simple — maybe even to a fault. But there’s clearly nothing wrong with a classic look. I especially like the subtle brightening of the blue, but they’ve reverted to a more muted blue of late, which isn’t bad either.

The Sheriff, Peyton Manning, in the iconic Colts blue. (Photo by Frank Polich/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)
The Sheriff, Peyton Manning, in the iconic Colts blue. (Photo by Frank Polich/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)

No. 9: New York Giants (white, 1975-1998)

The white version of this jersey is simply perfect.

Just fantastic. Phil Simms was crushing the look on this dropback. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
Just fantastic. Phil Simms was crushing the look on this dropback. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

No. 8: Philadelphia Eagles (green, 1985-1995)

Full disclosure: I love every iteration of the Eagles’ look over the years. They’ve somehow changed things while keeping the soul of their look intact (I said I take jerseys seriously, didn’t I?). Their throwback threads from the late 80s/early 90s — the simple green and white, which went perfectly with the clean, winged helmet — wins out here.

Hard to beat the simple green of Randall Cunningham's jersey here. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Hard to beat the simple green of Randall Cunningham's jersey here. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

No. 7: Buffalo Bills (royal blue, 1973-1985)

One word: CLEAN.

The Bills have been able to keep their colors clean and classic like they were here with Andre Reed. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
The Bills have been able to keep their colors clean and classic like they were here with Andre Reed. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

No. 6: St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams (yellow/blue, 1973-1999; present)

They went back to these uniforms and the world rejoiced. It’s one of the few instances in sports where two bright, loud colors jerseys blend seamlessly.

Somehow, Kurt Warner and the Rams made this gaudy jersey work. Mandatory Credit: Elsa Hasch /Allsport
Somehow, Kurt Warner and the Rams made this gaudy jersey work. Mandatory Credit: Elsa Hasch /Allsport

… And then they changed the logo. Let’s just try and focus on the jersey and not the logo, I guess.

No. 5: Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders (black, 1964-present)

Arguably one of the top five or top three most iconic logos in sports, the powers that be behind the Raiders undoubtedly knew what they had here, so they kept things simple with the jersey. Subtle changes over the years, but the grayish silver-and-black stayed true.

Tough to beat the simplicity worn by Marcus Allen and the Raiders here. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Tough to beat the simplicity worn by Marcus Allen and the Raiders here. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

Let’s hope they do in Vegas as well.

No. 4: New England Patriots (red, 1973-1992)

I was extremely torn here. I am a huge fan of the Patriots’ current look (and they have one of the better color-rush uniforms in the league). Their 2003-present jersey nearly edged out Patriot Pat here, but the relatively new addition of a jarring silver on the shoulders gave the simpler throwback the edge it needed to win out.

Can't complain about this red on Stanley Morgan. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Can't complain about this red on Stanley Morgan. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

It’s hard to make a bright red jersey work, but the Patriots, as they’re used to doing in all things, made it happen.

No. 3: San Francisco 49ers (scarlet, 1994-2008)

And to think, there was a rumor floating around of the team trying to completely change this perfection. The 49er red is probably the cleanest in all of sports; the white stripes on the sleeves are just icing on the cake.

Greatness personified — kind of like Jerry Rice and Steve Young. (Photo credit should read DINO VOURNAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Greatness personified — kind of like Jerry Rice and Steve Young. (Photo credit should read DINO VOURNAS/AFP via Getty Images)

No. 2: Dallas Cowboys (white, 1985-present)

America’s Team also has one of the nicest jerseys in all of sports — forget football. The all-white, the blue stripes, the giant numbers; football to the tee.

Just look at Emmitt Smith in that beauty, I mean, C'MON. (Photo by James Smith/Getty Images)
Just look at Emmitt Smith in that beauty, I mean, C'MON. (Photo by James Smith/Getty Images)

No. 1: San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (powder blue, 2000-present)

This, people, is the epitome of everything you could want in a jersey. It exemplifies the contentment simplicity brings and the attention subtle details attract.

It’s easy on the eyes; the powder blue is electric enough to catch those eyes, but not so loud as to make them hurt. The yellow of the bolt pairs well with the blue, and the logo on the sleeves is a welcome respite from the stripes found so prevalently in football.

The best thing the Chargers did was make this a regular instead of just a throwback. Even their revamped version of the powder blues look great.

Absolute perfection. Oh, and Antonio Gates was pretty good too. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Absolute perfection. Oh, and Antonio Gates was pretty good too. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

This is a jersey done right.

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