There’s a Lot to Like About the NFL’s New Uniforms

While the white jerseys didn’t change too much, swapping in a blue face mask for the incumbent silver one is the type of subtle refurbish that makes a big difference. That same helmet will be worn with the home blues, which got a makeover as well. Replacing the silver numbers with fresh white ones is a nice touch, and the stripes borrow from the Ford Mustang, a loving nod to the city’s auto industry.

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Despite the lack of a Super Bowl championship, the Lions are a historic member of the NFL (first game in 1930!). Because of this, it’s easy to understand why the team didn’t want to make any massive departures from the staples that fans have come to know and love. Blue and silver is already a great color scheme. The Lions didn’t need to reinvent the wheel here, and they didn’t, but they managed to make themselves look better without doing anything outlandish. Adding an all-caps DETROIT on the front of the white jerseys—which, like the blues, ditched the numbers that looked modern to a fault in favor of a more classic look—is also a win.

The real stunner here, though, is the black set. Slightly ambitious, but perfectly executed, these are immediately in the conversation for best alternate uni in the league.

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Even better, they come with a fun backstory! Head coach Dan Campbell—who played for the Lions from 2007 to 2008, when they had a black alternate—reportedly made a cheeky little agreement with team president Rod Wood. “We win the division, I’ll bring the black jerseys back,” Wood told him. Lo and behold, the Lions won the NFC North, giving them their first division title in 30 years, and this year they’ll be outfitted in a black-and-blue ensemble they’re calling Motor City Muscle. If jersey appearance was part of the scoreboard, the Lions would start every game up 7-0 when they combine the tough-looking black top with the icy blue helmet.

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