For a second time this season, the New England Patriots will put on their throwback uniforms this week. Following a Week 5 win over Detroit, the team will also wear its red “Pat Patriot” outfit for the upcoming Thursday night matchup with the Buffalo Bills.
This means the team will go full retro again throughout the week. From the field logo and end zone designs, to the helmets being worn in practice, to the organization’s social media presence, it’s throwback time in New England.
The Patriots’ throwbacks are making their comeback this season after a 10-year hiatus. After semi-regularly wearing them between 2009 and 2012, a rule change effectively barred them from bringing back the classic red, white and blue combo.
The rule was introduced as a concussion countermeasure, but was modified last year to allow teams to wear two different sets of helmets starting in 2022. This paved the way for the (re)introduction of alternate looks such as throwbacks, so long as all proper safety protocols are followed and players will have ample opportunity to break in the other helmets during practice.
New England did just that on Sunday, with players donning the throwback helmets during the first practice session of the week. They will continue doing that until the game against the visiting division rivals on Thursday night.
The Patriots wore the red-and-white look from their inaugural season in 1960 until a design overhaul of 1993: Pat Patriot was replaced by the so-called “Flying Elvis” that has graced the team’s helmets ever since; the color scheme initially changed to blue-and-silver before another modernization ahead of the 2000 season. Between 2000 and 2019, New England used navy and silver as the main colors and basis for its uniform.
The organization made another change in 2020, moving to an all-blue look that was first introduced as a Color Rush design in 2016.
The throwbacks, meanwhile, reappeared only now and then since the original change in the 90s. The Patriots wore them three times during the 1994 season and once in 2002, before returning them as a regular third outfit between 2009 and 2012.
They have made their return earlier this year, and it was a triumphant one. New England beat the Detroit Lions 29-0 in Week 5, improving to 10-3 all-time when wearing throwbacks — including one game versus the Bills on 2009 opening day. The Patriots won that contest 25-24, digging themselves out of an 11-point hole with just 2:06 to go.