Welcome back to the “2+3+2 (+2)” project.
Click to see: AFC East
Today we’ll tackle the AFC West.
If you want to see the genesis of how this project came about, please refer to the AFC East post.
To sum up, the project parameters are the following:
• All teams will have 2 helmets, 3 jerseys, 2 pants and 3 socks
• All uniform elements will be “interchangeable” (any combinations can be worn)
• Some teams will be given two options: current uniform and throwback (or fauxback/alternate)
• Opposing teams will wear different color elements (helmet/jersey/pant/socks)
• Home team will select its color combo, and away team will then select its combos. No elements can match opposing team
• To the extent possible, uniforms will be based on a team’s current available options. Where no such options exist, they will be created such that every team has 2/3/2/3 options.
• Where present home and road (and/or alternate) uniform template designs differ, they will be “streamlined” to have one single format/style in the 2/3/2/3 parameters
• Color vs. color will be permitted. The only exception is only one team can wear its “dark” jersey (the opponent can pair their color “medium” jersey vs. opponent’s “dark” jersey)
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
Along with a very few other teams, the Raiders — despite multiple moves over the years — have basically worn the same set of uniforms since 1963. While they kinda-sorta have a throwback with their white alternate jersey, the Raiders silver and black are as classic and timeless as uniforms go. They have one helmet (silver), three jerseys (one black, two white) and one set of pants (silver). For the 2/3/2/3 we’ll need to add an additional helmet and jersey color.
Despite their limited wardrobe, the options are pretty obvious: add a black shell and a silver jersey, which is what I’ve done here. The team has never worn black pants, but those are also the obvious choice here. I’ve changed their current primary white road jersey to silver, and basically keep their alternate white jersey as their new third. And while the Raiders do not currently have a black shell, they were born with one, which they wore from 1960 through 1962. For their black helmet’s logo, I used the original logo from their 1963 helmets.
If you thought the Raiders were constant with their uniforms, Kansas City has also retained their same basic look since the team moved from Dallas to Kansas City for the 1963 season. They too have only one shell — red in color — which has been the only color the team’s helmets have ever been. They basically shunned the NFL’s “Color Rush” edict, instead pairing their red jerseys and pants with red socks to “create” a CR uniform. They’ve never had a alternate/third jersey, so for the 2/3/2/3 project, a third color jersey (and sock) and an alternate helmet must be created.
Not only have the team’s uniforms basically remained unchanged for 60ish years, they’re basically almost entirely red and white. So for a second shell, a white helmet is the obvious option. The team does have some athletic gold — found on their jersey and pants stripes, as well as on the outlines of the numbers — so that will be their third jersey/sock color. Finally, I removed the arrowhead imagery from the helmets, opting for a larger “KC” logo. As an option to pair with the gold jersey and socks, I changed the white “KC” helmet decal to gold, and gave the team a gold facemask option. I’m not sure I’d ever like to see KC in the gold jersey or socks, but in order to fit the 2/3/2/3 protocol, I did give them those options.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
Unlike Vegas and KC, the Chargers have a rich uniform history over their lifetime. In 2020, the team introduced a modern update, with a white helmet, and primary uniforms that mix and match light blue and white jereys, and gold and white pants. Somewhat surprisingly, those new uniforms also included a new mono-royal alternate, AND a mono-navy CR uniform, neither of which pairs with their primary home and road uniforms. Not only do they not pair with the other uniforms, the team swaps helmet decals (royal and navy), depending on the alternate uniform. So the challenge here is to create one cohesive uniform to fit the 2/3/2/3 parameters.
The first thing I need to do is create an alternate helmet — and the Chargers have a history of wearing royal helmets — so that’s the choice here. We’ll drop the navy jersey and pants (as well as the royal pants), leaving us with the classic white and gold options. But the challenge of having the elements mesh remains. Therefore, I’ve given the light blue jersey royal accents (on the shoulder bolts), and changed the helmet numbers to royal. Royal numbers are used on the white jersey, and royal socks have been added as an option. Finally, the royal jersey is given light blue bolt accents. The white helmets will also have royal blue masks. Gold socks will also be an option. These tweaks will allow any jersey, pants, helmets or socks to be seamlessly mixed and matched across all possible uniform options.
The Broncos current uniforms may have been groundbreaking way back in 1997, but became dated quickly. When Nike gave the team their CR alternates in 2016, the uniforms were decidedly retro in design — so we will use that for our 2/3/2/3 project. Their current primary shell is navy blue, and this season the team introduced a white helmet, which uses the team’s throwback logo (as was also previously worn on the navy shell when paired with the CR uniform). It’s thought that when Denver finally redesigns its uniforms (possibly as early as the 2024 season), they’ll use the throwback style currently used for the CR uniform.
New uniform with current colors
For this exercise, I’m keeping the team’s current navy blue and orange colors, with a navy or white helmet options. Each jersey (orange, white, navy) would follow the same striping pattern as the CR uniform, as will the pants. Sock options will be orange, white and navy. But let’s face it: if the team is going to go retro with their helmet and uniforms, they may as well go all the way back to the royal blue and orange that were the hallmark of the John Elway era.
New uniform with classic colors
That’s more like it! The Broncos may not have had the same on-field success in these beauties as they have had with their current set, but it’s time to bring back the royal and orange! I kept the “new” white helmet in this example to use as their alternate, and jersey (and sock) options are royal, white and orange. Pants options will be white and orange. But aside from this season, the Broncos have never had a white helmet as an option. They have, however, worn orange helmets previously, so for shits and giggles, I removed the white helmet as an option, and gave them an orange option for the royal/white/orange set.
Maybe the orange helmet is “too much,” but I think very few of us can argue that returning the team to their classic royal/orange look, modernized for 2024, is the direction this team should go, uni-wise.
Thanks for indulging me, and I hope you at least enjoy the concept of 2/3/2/3. I’ll tackle the remaining division (NFC West) tomorrow. Please leave any comments/suggestions/critiques in the comments below!