In case you missed it, last Friday Buffalo Bills Quarterback Josh Allen teased fans by wearing a fauxback red helmet prior to the team’s open practice at Hallmark Stadium.
While the Bills will not be one of the teams sporting an alternate helmet this season, it nonetheless caused quite a sensation.
As you can see, the red helmet is not quite like anything the Bills have ever worn before, as the it features two solid blue stripes (with what could be considered a red center stripe). This look is basically the Bills current helmet, which has blue/red/blue stripes, except with a red shell. Both helmets have the “charging Buffalo” logo on the sides.
Allen paired the “new” red helmet with a red color rash jersey, and also white pants.
Fans attending the practice absolutely loved it.
There has been speculation that the Bills will add a red alternate helmet next season. Whether they wear it as part of their all-red CR uniform, or possibly as a throwback to the four time Super Bowl/Jim Kelly era uniforms is something that remains to be seen. If the team were to wear an alternate helmet with the CR uniforms, would the striping pattern match what Allen wore on Friday, or perhaps have a blue/white/blue striping pattern, which would match the CR pants.
Then there’s the possibility of a throwback red helmet, which would be paired with the 1984-2001 uniforms.
That helmet would match the helmet worn during the Bills Super Bowl years, and had a white/red/blue/red/white stripe pattern.
Fans hoping for a throwback might be disappointed, however. The Bills currently have a throwback uniform (using their current white shell and featuring a standing Buffalo logo). NFL rules prohibit two alternate uniforms (CR is a different category), so if the Bills do want to return to the 80s/90s look, they’d need to jettison their current throwback.
Adding an alternate red helmet for use with the CR uniform would be possible, so right now it seems more likely that if the team introduces a red shell for 2023, it would be paired with the all-red CR uniform.
Even though it was just a “tease,” Allen’s red helmet nevertheless has fans thinking a red shell is on the horizon for 2023. What uniform it would be worn with (new throwback or CR) is anyone’s guess.
Most overrated helmet ever.
I had mixed feelings about it when they debuted in the 80s (I liked that they became the first AFC team to change from white, but hated the striping and especially the white face masks), but recently re-watching some of their games from that era I was “wow, that helmet is actually pretty awful”.
Actually the Jets went from white to green in the late 70s (then back to white in the late 90s).
You’re correct. Nonetheless, I didn’t mind they changed to red, but wasn’t really excited by the execution. And in hindsight, I like them even less.
needs the white stripe. also can’t wear it with red jersey. the obsession with mono colors in nfl is so annoying
Agree on both points.
I grew up in the red helmet era. I never want to see it return. The white helmets are drastically superior.
The Bills look so much better with the red lid, they should bring it back full time and pair it with the current jerseys and pants.
I don’t mind seeing the red helmet occasionally. I would like to see the Bills either fix or ditch their current throwbacks. The sleeve stripes have never been right since Reebok did them for the 2009 AFL 50th Season. Nike just copied the stripes. All 4 stripes should be blue with very thin red outlines, and of course the outer stripes should be about 1/4 the width of the inner stripes. They got the stripes correct on the blue throwbacks they wore from 2005 – 2010; the white jerseys should be reversed from those blue jerseys.
I will never understand the love obsession with white helmets. A few teams having it is fine, but when a third of the league starts doing it it feels lazy, like someone just bought some plain helmets in bulk from a local store and slapped decals on them because they didn’t want to take the time to paint them. The Bills going from red to white was a MASSIVE downgrade. Very high school. Same with the Jets in the 90s and the Chargers now.
I love the old 90s bills unis, and those old red helmets are some of my favorites of all time. Why tease us with these mediocre helmets combined with the WOAH, THAT’S WAY TOO RED jerseys?
Personally, I always preferred the red helmet. I understand many think the white is a cleaner, more classic design but I have always liked the flavor of the red helmet a lot more. I think it stands out more in the division and adds a depth of color to the overall design. I know it’s a minority opinion but that’s why I feel compelled to express it; there’s always those of us who prefer the alternative.
Why can’t the Bills have two throwback? The Dolphins have two throwbacks and the Chargers have two color rush sets.
I believe it’s a difference of classification. I believe one of the Dolphins’ sets (the all-white) is designated as their CR uniform; in the case of the Chargers, their all Navy uniform is designated as their CR (link), but they also consider their all royal (link) a “CR,” it would be permissible because it’s also an alternate. Seems like the NFL is playing a bit fast and loose (with jerseys as well as alternate helmets), but for each seemingly contradictory designation (two CR unis, two throwbacks), teams can justify it by giving them different designations.
From what I have been able to ascertain, alternate helmets may now be worn up to three times per season. Those can be worn with either the “throwback,” the CR, or the alternate jersey. A team may have a maximum of four different jerseys (home, road and up to two of the three additional designations). Some teams, like Carolina, wear the same jersey (black) as both their primary and their CR; this led to some initial confusion as to how they were permitted to wear their alternate helmet with their primary (silver) helmet. It turns out they will only pair the black alternate helmet with the all-black (CR) uniform. They can wear the black helmet with the all-black/CR uniform, up to three times in a season, but must wear their silver helmet with the black (primary) jersey for all other games in which they wear the black jersey. Confusing? You bet.
Appreciate the explanation Phil. Definitely fast and loose.
Bring back the red helmets permanently!
I am a fan of a red Bills helmet but not in this current version. It needs a white stripe or stripes (outline of the blue striping). Solid blue on red does not look good.
I grew up with a distaste for the Bills but absolutely loving their red helmet look. Something about it at the time said “this game is important”.
I’m also in favor of contrast and more color, so anything to get away from so much white and blue works for my eyes.