In 2015, the NFL introduced the Color Rush jersey concept to make a) Thursday night games more appealing, and b) more money out of a new batch of apparel. Since then, the New England Patriots wore their one-colored, blue-on-blue outfit four times: they used it once in 2016 against the Houston Texans, brought it back against the Atlanta Falcons the following year, and wore it versus the Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers last season.
The Patriots, who also wore an all-white look when playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2017, will go back to the Color Rush outfit on three different occasions this year as was announced on Wednesday:
Week 6: vs. New York Giants
Week 8: vs. Cleveland Browns
Week 14: vs. Kansas City Chiefs
New England is allowed to use its alternates thrice due to a rule change that was implemented during the 2018 offseason.
Previously, teams were only allowed to wear their non-standard outfits a total of three times each year: alternate and throwback jerseys were limited to two games, while Color Rush was only to be worn once every single season. Under the new rule, a distinction between Color Rush and alternate/throwback does no longer exist. We will therefore be able to see the Patriots’ blue-on-blue ensemble three times this year.
What we will not see, however, is the team wearing throwbacks: the organization confirmed that it will not use its outfit from the 1990s during the 2019 season. The ‘90s throwbacks are of course the only historical jerseys New England is allowed to wear with the rules still in place that teams have to use the same helmet and colors all season long — a rule that prohibits the Patriots from bringing back their white throwback helmets and red uniforms.
Considering that the NFL is celebrating its 100th anniversary this season, this seems like a wasted opportunity for both an appreciation of the league’s history and more revenue.