Quick Bit: Several teams have dropped their alternate helmets ahead of this season. Sporting News is following them.

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The 2022 NFL season is going to have a bit of a wrinkle: For the first time since 2013, NFL teams are going to have true secondary helmets. Rather than teams sometimes switching or removing decals to go with different uniform sets, they’ll have the opportunity to wear alternate helmets for a different looks.

The rule was approved in 2021, and teams had to notify the NFL if they intended to use alternate helmets this season by no later than July 31 last year. So far, 12 teams have released alternate lids.

The Saints were the first team to show off their new look debuting a black helmet that will complete their blackout look. They were followed by the Texans and their “Battle Red” alternates.

Among the most recent teams to show off their new looks have been the Giants and Cowboys, both of whom are going for a retro appearance.

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NFL alternate jerseys are always interesting, particularly because so many of them are historic rather than innovative. It seems the new helmets are letting teams get a bit more creative.

Here’s an update on where we’re at around the NFL.

The retro

Dallas Cowboys

You can’t take the star off the Cowboys’ helmet, but there’s no reason to. Even without the classic silver base, it’s going to look iconic. Dallas will be sacrificing its silver helmets for Thanksgiving this year, opting instead for a white-based helmet with the classic star, sans outline. It will perfectly complement their classic Thanksgiving jerseys.

New York Giants

The Giants are going for a retro look as well, getting rid of the iconic NY on their helmets for the arguably equally iconic “GIANTS” throwback. They’re also completing the look with their classic look from the 1980s and 1990s, a lighter blue with red accents on their jersey.

New England Patriots

Pat Patriot is BACK in his old threads. The Patriots are fully embracing their throwback mascot, donning red jerseys in addition to bringing center Pat back to the forefront. Fingers crossed Bucco Bruce is somewhere in the hopper so Tom Brady can, in fact, wear an iconic mascot on his helmet this season.

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons’ jersey reveal was met with skepticism last year, as all modernized NFL jerseys are. They’ll be going back to an old look at least a few times this season, as they wear red helmets alongside their classic black jerseys. They’ll be wearing them against the 49ers, a team they battled it out with for years in the NFC West. In a cool twist, they’re wearing the original version with gold trim, meant to pay homage to Georgia Tech in addition to the obvious Georgia reference. For the Falcons, less is clearly more.

The modern

Carolina Panthers

Is the all-black trend a bit worn out? Arguably yes. But the Panthers are the perfect team for it. At the very least, they’re going with a matte base that is standing out, and the teal accents look good in conjunction with their full kits.

Cincinnati Bengals

If you’re sick of blackouts, the Bengals are following in the footsteps of their cat brethren at Penn State and going full whiteout. The defending AFC champs are completing their color rush uniforms with a white helmet, and frankly, it looks awesome.

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Houston Texans

The Houston Texans’ look is controversial, and they’re shying away from the matte look a lot of teams seem to be going for. They’re all-red and they have a look that evokes chrome. They’re completing the “Battle Red” cry the Texans have pushed for years, and they’ll be worn with red jerseys. It’s certainly the biggest deviation the Texans have pushed in their uniforms in the team’s 21-year history.

Washington Commanders

The Commanders aren’t just getting a new name change: They’re getting a whole new look as well. One of their alternate looks to the burgundy will be a full black-out look, with this helmet being used as a model. The team is pretty minimalist in general. The helmets follow that trend.

New Orleans Saints

The Saints haven’t had a non-gold helmet since 1969, and they’ve never worn anything but their classic look in the regular season. That will change this year, as the Saints debut a black alternate helmet that vaguely resembles their alternate look from the 1969 preseason. It’s hard to tell, but they might be carrying a two-tone look; Glossy on top, matte on the bottom.

New York Jets

The Jets have one of the NFL’s most consistently shifting looks when it comes to logos and uniforms. While some fans were clamoring for a retro look for the upcoming season, the team opted to introduce a matte black helmet instead. They also have a green facemask. They’ll be worn three times this season.

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