The National Football League Playoffs are here and while we have the old, usual participants back once again with the Patriots and Steelers there’s a few fresh faces we haven’t seen ’round these parts in years, why heck we haven’t seen the Los Angeles Rams in a playoff game since the 1989 NFC Final (yes, I know, shush).
With six teams on each side of the bracket that gives us thirty-six different possible matchups for Super Bowl LII, to be held in Minnesota’s sparkly new U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4th. Being the weirdo sports logo nerd I am, I’ve put together a graphic showing all 36 potential matchups for this year’s championship game to make it somewhat easier to get used to whatever head-to-head we’ll end up seeing next month:
We tried this last fall with the World Series, it was fun, I’ll update the graphic after each round on Twitter to narrow down the options.
Because I don’t like just posting a single graphic and calling it a story, hey, why not a look at my five hopes for the Super Bowl based purely on the uniform designs? (I mean, if we’re talking *teams* I like – I’ll take a Panthers/Bills Super Bowl please, the two NFL teams I’ve been a fairweather fan of throughout my life… inner conflict!)
The AFC Champion will be the designated “home team” for the game, yes even if the Vikings win the NFC, which means the AFC team gets first choice at uniforms. Typically the home team goes with their home/dark uniform unless there’s some superstition involved – the Denver Broncos the most recent to do this, fearing their orange home uniforms were unlucky in past Super Bowls they opted to wear the whites and proceeded to win Super Bowl 50 over the Carolina Panthers.
Let’s begin, in no particular order…
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS VS MINNESOTA VIKINGS
A re-match of Super Bowl IV when the Chiefs beat the Vikings 23-7 in 1970 with both the Chiefs (red) and Vikings (white) wearing the same colours in that matchup that we’d expect them to here 48 years later. The Chiefs are the only primarily red team to qualify for the NFL Playoffs this year, that alone ranks them high on the list of potential Super Bowl uniform matchups regardless of opponent; I chose a pairing against the Vikings because not only are they both sharp designs but it’d also pit the two brightest and least common remaining against one another – red versus purple, we saw if before recently when the Ravens in white beat the 49ers in red at Super Bowl XLVII.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS VS CAROLINA PANTHERS
Pittsburgh’s old-school black uniform, logo missing on the one side of the helmet, with
yellow gold pants and sleeve stripes pair up nicely against the Carolina Panthers more modern look, also featuring black but with a baby Carolina blue acting as a trim colour. Major bonus points if they would allow Carolina to rock the blue alternates vs. the Steelers black but alas that would never happen because “rules”… major demerit points if the Steelers opt for the bumblebee throwbacks.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS VS PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
This matchup would’ve been so much better uniform-wise had the colours been reversed (and played 30 years ago); the Eagles in green would be a treat! But sorry folks it’s an AFC year, it’s 2018, so navy blue and silver vs white with a little sorta-green in there. They’re still two quality uniforms, just not the best they *could* be… why did it make my list? I like the idea of two national symbols – the patriot and the eagle – battling each other for the championship. The Patriots beat the Eagles at Super Bowl XXXIX with the Pats in white.
BUFFALO BILLS VS NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Here’s a better shade of blue than that one from New England; wearing a retro-inspired royal blue, the Buffalo Bills would look to really put an end to their string of bad luck by not only making their first postseason this millennium, but also win their first Super Bowl after losing four-straight — all of which, by the way, were lost while wearing red helmets… just saying, that could be a factor here. Buffalo’s old-school look works well against the Saints and their iconic fleur-de-lis proper (not “Pittsburgh”) gold-and-black combo. Another good matchup for the Bills would be the Panthers where you’d have two different shades of blue, neither of them navy.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS VS LOS ANGELES RAMS
This would be horrible… but I still want this to happen; we’ll all be talking about it, you’ll remember the uniform matchup more than the game. Jacksonville’s gold-to-teal gradient helmets against the LA Rams and their gradual “we’ll change our colour scheme one bit at a time over the course of a few seasons” mess. I hear ya, “why are you showing the Jags in white if they’re the home team?”, well sir, that pic above is from a Jags home game against the Rams in October, so… it’s a possibility – although just the mere fact the Jaguars lost that matchup shown is a strong enough indicator they’d likely flip the colours for this game… but hey, if they at least want to make the Rams look visually silly they certainly have the option.
The 2017 NFL Playoffs (as they’re called despite being held entirely within 2018) get underway on Saturday when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Tennessee Titans and the Atlanta Falcons head to Los Angeles to take on the Rams.