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Should the Bills Add a Red Helmet (and Throwback Uni)?

When the NFL lifted the “one shell rule” for the 2023 season, many teams took advantage and added new helmets — either for use with a third/alternate jersey, color rush (CR) or throwback. More recently, in just the past month the Minnesota Vikings introduced an alternate white helmet, quickly followed by the Baltimore Ravens, who added a new alternate purple helmet.

In the Vikings case, they added an entire new alternate uniform to be paired with the new white shell. The Ravens are simply going to pair their new alternate helmet with their existing CR uniform.

One of the teams many expected to add an alternate helmet — the Buffalo Bills — have kept their white shell as their sole helmet, even though they would be permitted to add an alternate.

The most obvious choice for an alternate helmet would be to add a red shell. In fact, back in 2022, Bills QB Josh Allen sported a red helmet when the team held an open practice at Highmark Stadium.

Allen not only sported a red helmet, but also wore his CR jersey…with white pants! How good does that look?

Were the Bills to add a red helmet, they could pair it with their red alternate (CR) uniform; they could also wear it, as Allen is shown above, with the red shirts and white pants. Currently they wear their white shell with the red CR and it just looks imbalanced.

If you look at the photo of Allen above, you’ll note the helmet has two blue stripes — or, more appropriately, a blue/red/blue stripe, which is the same striping pattern as they currently use on their regular white helmets.

That would be one treatment. They could also add a solid white stripe between the thinner blue stripes, which provide an effect similar to the white helmet striping (one color shell, two different color stripes). It would also match the striping pattern on their red pants.

Adding a second color shell could also provide the Bills with the opportunity to add a throwback uniform. And the obvious candidate for a throwback would be the uniforms worn when the Buffalo squad went to four consecutive Super Bowls.

The striping on that red helmet differs from the blue/red/blue or blue/white/blue striping seen above. That helmet had white/red/blue/red/white. To create a red throwback helmet, the team would merely need to swap stripe decals. Here’s Josh Allen photoshopped into a throwback uniform.

The Bills haven’t announced any plans to add a new shell for this season, but it would not only provide them with a way to modify their CR look and give them the possibility of adding a throwback to the team’s most successful era (even if they went 0-4 in those Super Bowls, they were also the only team ever to appear in four consecutive Supes).

I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one who’d love to see the Bills add an alternate red helmet.

If you’re curious about the Bills’ red helmet era, Paul did a fantastic deep dive on it last year.

What say you? Should the Bills join the many other teams with two different color shells? And if they were to, should they pair it with the red (CR) jersey, or create a new throwback … or both?

Comments (25)

    The red Bills helmet I want to see is the 1994 fauxback.
    Their best helmet ever.

    I always considered that to be their worst helmet ever. Showed how cheap the owner was that he couldn’t splurge for the real throwback helmets.

    For me it’s the ‘84-86 lid…blue masks were totally awesome!
    And while they were successful in the set that followed, I’d prefer that they throw back to those years for a throwback option…blue pants and all!

    “Bills QB Josh Allen sported a red helmet when the team held an open practice at Hallmark Stadium.” – I think you meant HIGHMARK Stadium… although many of us around here still call it Rich Stadium or “The Ralph”

    DOH! Yes, brain cramp. Now fixed.

    When you care enough to send the very best…

    I like some of the options presented in this post a lot. I love the idea of the 90’s throwback uni complete with the red helmet, and then a red helmet with the color rush uniform AND white pants? Sign me up! Even the current white helmet with the red jersey would look so much better if it was paired with white pants. Incredible that they haven’t done that yet at least at some point!

    Currently they wear their white shell with the red CR and it just looks imbalanced

    I’ll take imbalanced over full mono every day.
    I also love it when Wisconsin goes white/red/red.

    I don’t think anyone calls the Bears in blue/white/white imbalanced (I don’t even call Denver in blue/white/white imbalanced… I just call that wrong).

    I prefer the Bears in blue/white/blue. I know some people prefer the blue/white/white look they used to wear, but I grew up watching the blue pants with the white jerseys. In general, I prefer the helmet to match either the jersey or pants, rather than the jersey and pants being one color and the helmet being a different color.

    The red helmet would be fine with the red jersey…never really cared for it when paired with the blue jerseys back in the day, personally. As a throwback once a year, okay fine…but their current set with the white helmet is their best look.

    Either way, just ditch the red pants, please. No more full blood clot. Red/red/white would be a nice look for them.

    Red helmet with the current uniform should be the standard. While standing buffalo logo as alternate throwback. Basically, just go with the 1984 – 1985 set full time, but white facemask instead of blue.
    When I see white helmet and blue jersey I think Colts. Red helmet and blue jersey I think Bills. In a league with only 32 teams there is no need for multiple teams to have the same helmet/jersey/pant color combos.

    I’ve always loved the Bills in the red helmets and felt like the change to the white helmets was a downgrade in comparison, even with that uniform change was a huge upgrade.

    Imagine the Bills pissing everyone off by bringing back the red helmet but with a throwback to the mono-navy of the 2000’s, complete with period-accurate mismatched side panels.

    I prefer the white helmet, but the red helmet would be great as a throwback. However, pairing the red helmet with a red jersey would be an abomination. This reminds me of the Rangers “blue team or red team” debate. To me, the Bills are a blue team with red highlights, not the other way around.

    No red uniform with this set. Would like to see the red jersey paired with the white pants just once. I AM all in on some Jim Kelly era throwbacks though!

    Probably just me but The Bills color scheme is such that they could jump back and forth between the three primary colors and it would be hard to recognize that they did anything. The mockups in the article look like stuff they are already wearing. Count me in the cranky “old man shouts at cloud” group who would prefer uniforms remain uniform. Darks at home / whites on the road. Done.

    I would like it as a throwback, but these dumb “present day” alternate helmet looks (Broncos white, ravens purple, texans red, vikings white, etc) need to stop. NFL had it right with some of the uniform/helmet restrictions; ensuring there is brand consistency and the teams are instantly recognizable on the TV (unlike the NBA). This recent trend chips away at this consistency. It all just feels Mickey Mouse.

    As a lifelong Bills fan, I really want the Red helmet back full time….but please no more red jerseys

    Not a Bills fan, but YES A THOUSAND TIMES OVER!!! Never should have gotten rid of red helmets in the first place!!! The white helmet honestly just looks like someone bought a bunch of plain helmets and slapped a logo on them because they were too lazy to paint them (frankly most white helmets look like that). I say if white isn’t a defined part of your team colors (like the Colts for example) then put a color on the helmet!

    Buffalo resident here. I like the standard look just fine. No need to dredge up the painful past of 4 monumental failures. Sure, that team has Hall of Famers and a run that is unlikely (though not impossible) to be repeated, but their claim to fame is failure.

    The current uniforms are pretty much perfect, sans Color Rash and their tendency to go full Smurf too often.

    I say YES! I think it should be the red helmet with blue face cage. Bring the old SB unis back. I’m not a Bills fan, but those need to come back. In fact, all teams old uniforms need to return, some of the 1970s & 1980s

    For some reason I don’t like the Bills in red. The red helmet is fine but not the jersey/pants. Maybe it’s because blue seems to be a “cold” color whereas red is a “warm” color. Buffalo in December is definitely not a warm place! Just a personal observation of mine. I like that mockup of Josh Allen in the red helmet and blue jersey/white pants. That’s an alt I could really like.

    I started watching as a kid in 1993, the last of the Bills’ Super Bowl seasons. I LOVE the red helmet look, full time, please.

    By the way, the last time the Bills beat the Chiefs in the playoffs was 1993… in red helmets. Just saying!

    Personally I’d love to see the Bills go back to everything 90’s era- yeah, I know they lost 4 straight SB’s…I’ve been a die-hard fan since 1989, when they lost that playoff thriller in Cleveland. Something about the red shells, white masks, blue jerseys & white pants screams “dominant AFC team.” Unlike now, when the Chiefs seem to dominate us each year in the playoffs, KC routinely came to “The Rich” to get stomped by #12, #78, #34, #83, and so on, so forth. When the “Road to the SB” ran thru Rich Stadium, you knew it was lights out. The red helmets/blue jerseys, red end zones & Buffalo “Jills” defined what ‘Buffalo Bills Football’ was…an era of AFC dominance. It’s time to bring that attitude, that swagger, back…

    I would love to see them do a white jersey with red lettering, white pants and red socks for the red helmet – mostly like the away jersey of the 90’s

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