Ranking the NFL Helmets From Best to Worst


Some things are debatable, a matter of taste if you will. Then, there are NFL helmets. We here at The Big Lead slammed our collective heads together and ranked all the helmets from favorite to least favorite, 1-32. Then, we averaged those scores to come up with group rankings. If you disagree, sorry.

#1 Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals didn’t go with a tiger head like so many college teams with a tiger-based mascot but instead went for the orange and black striping and created magic.

#2 Oakland Raiders

The almost-win is a Raider. This is a distinctive mascot with an eyepatch, set upon a black shield, and is crisp and clean. Word is that the Raiders make for a pretty popular apparel item.

#3 Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers have left San Diego. They shouldn’t compound it by ever leaving the curved lightning bolt.

#4 Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Star: simple, iconic.

#5 Green Bay Packers

It gets uniqueness points for being a yellow helmet in a world overpopulated with blacks, greys, and white, and tradition points for the simple “G.”

#6 Chicago Bears

Mike Ditka wouldn’t let us rank it any lower.

#7 San Francisco 49ers

The NFL needs more gold helmets instead of black, and the 49ers sit atop that (the Saints will come later).

#8 Buffalo Bills

Some cities have a letter representing the city name. Buffalo has the actual animal.

#9 Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City, amazingly, has the only red helmet in the league right now (if you consider Washington’s to be burgundy). It’s also the only stadium named after the symbol on the helmet.

#10 Los Angeles Rams

Most of us are fans of the Ram horns on the helmet. Los Angeles may not have good football but they have good helmets.

The next group of helmets garnered a mix bag of support amongst our group, with plenty of disagreements.

#11 Minnesota Vikings

#12 Philadelphia Eagles

#13 Cleveland Browns

#14 Atlanta Falcons

Purple is an acquired taste when it comes to helmets, and we have some differing views. Birds start to flock in here, and there is a high correlation between those that like and dislike the Browns’ helmets and opinions on Penn State’s helmet. But that’s a discussion for another day.

#15 Arizona Cardinals

#16 Pittsburgh Steelers

#17 Seattle Seahawks

#18 New Orleans Saints

More bird helmets, some disagreement on whether the Steelers helmets are cool because they have the symbol only on one side, and the fleur-de-lis.

#19 New York Giants

#20 Miami Dolphins

#21 Indianapolis Colts

#22 Denver Broncos

The Giants’ helmets pipped the Jets in our rankings. The Colts’ horseshoe led to some disagreement. The old lighter blue Broncos helmets with the big D are missed.

#23 Washington Redskins

#24 New York Jets

#25 Tennessee Titans

#26 New England Patriots

Would the Patriots have ranked higher if it was the old version with the Patriot and cannonballs? Probably. We passed on the flaming thumbtacks and the Washington symbol that creates such controversy.

#27 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

#28 Baltimore Ravens

#29 Detroit Lions

#30 Carolina Panthers

#31(t) Jacksonville Jaguars

#31(t) Houston Texans

We are not a fan of the modern helmets, as five of the bottom six are among the six most recent franchises, and the helmets were all created in the last 25 years. Too much of the same look, dark helmets. The Jaguars should have gone with a pure gold helmet (not the current iteration that bleeds gold into black).

[Tully Corcoran, Kyle Koster, Jason Lisk, Ryan Phillips contributed their individual rankings to this post.]