Nearly a decade since they last appeared, the New England Patriots’ red throwback uniforms will return to Gillette Stadium. With the lifting of the NFL’s one helmet rule this season, in large part due to an insistence from New England, the team announced the beloved uniforms would return this season.
This morning, they announced the dates:
You already know we're throwing it back in '22, now YOU get to decide how.— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 7, 2022
Vote on our in-stadium throwback designs for 10/9 and 12/1: https://t.co/4KgQ4bhxtt
October 9th against the Detroit Lions will mark the first time the Pats have worn red since October 21st, 2012, a dramatic overtime win over the New York Jets. The uniforms will appear for the second time on Thursday Night Football a week after Thanksgiving, when the Patriots play the Buffalo Bills.
Historically, New England has worn red against either NFC North or AFC East opponents. This season’s appearances will mark the sixth and seventh times these uniforms have been worn as throwbacks, and all of the previous five were played against teams in one of those divisions.
The appearances include a pair of Thanksgiving games at Detroit in 2002 and 2010, a pair of home games against the Jets in 2011 and 2012, and a game against the Vikings in Gillette Stadium in 2010. New England won all five of those games.
The team also announced a fan vote for elements of the in-stadium design to accompany the old-fashioned look. Fans can choose between three different options for the field wrap, field flags, rally towel, and locker room door designs, and voters are also entered to win a VIP Game Day Host Package.
A similar red throwback was worn three times in the 2009 season as part of the AFL’s 50th anniversary celebration. That included Tom Brady’s return from his ACL and MCL injury against the Bills on Monday Night Football to open the season, a game the Patriots won in dramatic fashion. New England went 2-1 in the red uniform that season, winning twice at home and losing once on the road.
The current throwback is remake of the uniform the team wore from 1984 through the end of the 1992 season. Keen-eyed observers will notice the white socks and the white-blue-white stripes on the shoulders, the most distinct differences between this uniform and the one the team wore in the franchise’s early years that inspired the 2009 edition.
League rules this year limit alternate uniforms to being worn three times, leaving an opening for the Pats to add another date to the schedule if they so choose.