Is there an art form to uniform combinations? Should Sean McDermott and the equipment staff study recent Bills uniform history before picking what to wear on game day? Probably not? Okay. I agree that there are more pressing analytic categories for the Bills to study, but this one might be the most fun to dive into. As someone who loves sports logos, uniforms, and asthetics, I thought it would be fun to look into how the Bills have fared while wearing their different uniform combinations.
For these rankings I started with the 2011 season, which was the first season with the most recent uniform overhaul (royal blue, white helmets, etc.) Nike took over the NFL uniforms in 2012 which introduced the fan favorite blue pants and throwback set. Let’s start at the top.
- White facemask, Blue jerseys, Blue pants
1-0 (1.00 win pct.)
In the Bills most memorable win this decade, they went with a brand new uniform combination, adding the fan favorite white facemask to their blue-on-blue set. Also on this set were plain white socks without the typical striping. Will we see this combo again this year?
7-3 (.700 win pct.)
The Bills have been very successful when wearing their throwbacks, compiling a 7-3 record. Usually good for 2 games a year in these, the Bills only wore these once last year. An added bonus for these uniforms? They are the combo the Bills were wearing these when they ended the drought. Prior to the 2011 rebrand, the Bills used a blue throwback jersey for this set. Will we see that come back in the future?
3. Grey facemask, Red jersey, Red pants
4-2 (.667 win pct.)
When the color rush jersey was debuted, fans were quick to fall in love with a red jersey, a color that the Bills had never worn before. They have found a fair amount of success while wearing these. Last year was the first year the Bills wore these twice in the same season. If nothing else, this uniform came in handy during the Snow Bowl game in 2017. Red might have been the only color that would have been (barely) seen in the blizzard that day.
4. Grey facemask, Blue jersey, White pants
30-25 (.545 win pct.)
The classic home look, and quite frankly, one the best looks in the league, has been pretty good to the Bills. The Bills win just over half of their games while wearing this set. More often than not they wear these at home, or on the road early in the season when teams like to wear all-white (Dolphins, Titans, Jets). Sometimes it seems that this traditional home set is one that we are seeing less and less of, considering all of the options the Bills have now on gameday.
5. Grey facemask, Blue jersey, Blue pants
5-5 (.500 win pct.)
The set that the Bills teased for years, but finally debuted in an epic win against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers back in 2014, has been met with mixed reactions. Fans seem to love it, while outsiders liken the Bills to the smurfs.
6. Grey facemask, White jersey, Blue pants
9-21 (.310 win pct.)
Fans BEGGED the Bills to release the blue pants when Nike took over in 2012. In Week 6 of the that season, Chain Gailey and the Bills obliged. The Bills wore this classic 1980’s look against the Arizona Cardinals in an OT win in the desert. This was also the set the Bills wore on a Thursday night home again against the Dolphins later that year, which I believe was the first time the Bills had worn white at home. This set has clearly become a favorite of Sean McDermott, as last year this combo appeared to be the Bills default away set. They wore this combo six times last year, which is the most of any season since the blue pants debuted. This is also the set that the Bills wore in both of their playoff games under McDermott. Unfortunately, a good record does not accompany this set, which is due in large part to some rough years in these under Doug Marrone and Rex Ryan.
7. Grey facemask, White jersey, White pants
9-24 (.273 win pct.)
As the primary road set for most of the decade, it makes sense that the Bills have not had much success in this uniform combination. After all, it is harder to win on the road. The set that most fans believe to be “the cleanest in the league” looks very sharp both in-person and on TV. The past two seasons Sean MeDermott has put the Bills in this combo for the home opener, and this week against the Jets will make it three straight years. In last year’s primetime game against the Patriots, the Bills combined the long white socks from the Thanksgiving game with this set for a similar, but slightly different combo.
8. White facemask, White jersey, White pants
0-1 (.000 win pct.)
The Bills have only worn this once, and it was during a Thursday night color rush game against the Jets. Swapping out the grey facemask for white and adding the long white socks on this combination truly make this a color rush/white out combination. We haven’t seen it since Sean McDermott’s first season, and I wouldn’t mind to see it make another appearance soon.
Well, there you have it. All you wanted to know about the Bills uniforms since the 2011 season. This was fun to put together, hope you found it to be an entertaining read. Let’s hope that the white/white combo can start stacking up some wins, starting with this Sunday against the Jets.