An Unexpected Surprise from the 2016 NFL Season

There’s no doubt that the NFL Color Rush jerseys worn on Thursday night were a money-grab, but some of them were pretty good.

Last year, the NFL introduced some color rush uniforms to Thursday Night Football. In a matchup between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets, it looked like a Christmas special, with all red and all green jerseys. For color-blind fans, it was a huge letdown, as some could not distinguish between the two teams on the field. All of the 2015 season colors were pretty ugly, too.

When the NFL announced that it would be unveiling Color Rush jerseys for all of the teams, I was extremely skeptical. With the initial rollout having hit the aforementioned speed bumps, this felt like the NFL really trying to force-feed its fans another product and pretending not to hear the criticism (some superficial, some valid) of their uniforms.

When they released a photo gallery showing all 32 teams’ new uniforms, I was surprised to find that I… didn’t hate them.

The 2015 Color Rush jerseys hadn’t changed, but some really great new ones were added to lineup (and some terrible ones, but more on that later). The lighting effects from the NFL’s photo gallery of the uniforms made some look strange. I finally saw some on television (and in person, when the Patriots hosted and shut out the Texans 27-0 with Jacoby Brissett under center, and I thought the New England uniforms looked great in person.

As the season continued, I saw more uniforms that I liked. The Steelers, the Chargers, the 49ers, the Lions, the Cardinals, and even the Browns all had some sharp new threads. Other teams played it pretty safe, with the Colts, Chiefs, Bears, Eagles and Cowboys all not straying too far from the colors I’m used to seeing them in.

Of course, some teams went to extremes with new or different looks, and they didn’t always work. The Seahawks featured a bright neon green that nearly hurt the eyes (perhaps part of on-field strategy?), the Redskins and Rams both featured a bright yellow primary color, and the Jaguars urine-colored uniforms were back. Some teams also chose white as their primary for these uniforms, and while it looks decent with the Giants and Packers, and is understandable with the Raiders, I don’t understand why the Bengals couldn’t come up with something better… other than the fact that they’re, you know, the Bengals.

While I do hope that we’ll see the return of Patriots’ red throwbacks on the field soon, I also look forward to seeing their Color Rush alternates again, as well. Hopefully, the next time they wear them, their dominant play will be similar as well.

 

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