NFL Team Colors & Codes

Aug 25, 2021
22
min reading

NFL team colors are a really cool subject to learn about! The NFL has 32 teams and like most sports teams, each one has its own color scheme. 

I decided to write an article describing each of the 32 NFL teams, highlighting their color history, logo history, mascot history, and more.

Team colors have their origins in college football as they were often dictated by a school's biggest rivals.

Arizona Cardinals

Color Name HEX
RED #97233F
YELLOW #FFB612
BLACK ##000000

Arizona Cardinals is an American professional football team located in the Phoenix metropolitan area

The Cardinals compete in the National Football League as a member of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) West division.

The Cardinals have been a member in all but two of the professional leagues since 1898, which makes this club one of the oldest teams in terms of tenure.

Buffalo Bills

Color Name HEX
BLUE #00338D
RED #C60C30

It was the 59th season for the team overall, and their first under the tenure of head coach Sean McDermott after Rex Ryan's firing at the end of the previous season. 

It also was the first season in Western New York since 2008 with the team not being led by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Carolina Panthers

Color Name HEX
CAROLINA BLUE #0085CA
BLACK #101820
SILVER #BFC0BF

The Carolina Panthers were created in 1993 and joined the NFL that same year. 

They made history in their first season, finishing 7-9 including a tie against the Falcons and a win against the Cowboys, who had won 18 previous games (Carolina would lose to Dallas twice that first season).

The inception of the team happened to coincide with my teenage years, so I was very fortunate to witness first-hand the early drama and excitement that our franchise has experienced.

Cleveland Browns

Color Name HEX
DARK BROWN #311D00
ORANGE #FF3C00

The Cleveland Browns were founded in 1999 to replace the Cleveland Browns, better known as the Cavs, who moved their team to Pranav Sood's hometown of Charlotte. 

The original team was born in 1946, brought into being by Paul Brown. Brown was a famous coach at that time and recruited some of his former players to be part of his new team. 

Now as an expansion team, Cleveland wanted to be able to compete with the best teams. 

They were able to get what they needed from the Washington Redskins when they traded their future draft picks along with ten million dollars.

Dallas Cowboys

Color Name HEX
ROYAL BLUE #003594
BLUE #041E42
SILVER #869397
SILVER-GREEN #7F9695

The Dallas Cowboys franchise is one of the most famous in professional sports. 

Because of their popularity and storied history, it’s important to understand the entire history of this organization.

Founded in 1940 the major league football team of Dallas Cowboys is undoubtedly one of the most famous clubs, both in reputation and actual attendance. 

Getting to this point was not easy for the Cowboys as there were many bumps on their way through NFL history.

​​​​Green Bay Packers

Color Name HEX
DARK GREEN #203731
GOLD #FFB612

It is the only publicly owned franchise in the NFL, and the fourth-largest community-owned sports team in America. 

Founded in 1919 by Earl "Curly" Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun, it has been a member club of the NFL since 1921.

The most memorable failures occur within the context of a quarterback throwing a game-killing interception or a kicker missing a one-yard chip shot field goal that would have defeated the hated rival. 

If it were easy to build an NFL franchise, everyone could do it.

Houston Texans

Color Name HEX
DEEP STEEL BLUE #03202F
BATTLE RED #A71930

The Houston Texans have struggled in their relatively short history. At the end of the 2016 season, they were 2-14 under head coach Bill O'Brien. 

Despite that terrible record, they finished second in the AFC South, making it to the January 2017 playoffs for the first time since 2012.

It all began when Bob McNair, who at the time was a minority owner of the New England Patriots, decided to put an expansion franchise up for sale. 

Kansas City Chiefs

Color Name HEX
RED #E31837
GOLD #FFB81C

The Kansas City Chiefs were originally created in 1960 by Hank Stram and many of their early years were filled with much success. 

The team found success in their very first season by winning the AFL Championship over the San Diego Chargers. 

Although they did not win another championship, they did finish with a winning record for nine consecutive seasons.

Los Angeles Chargers

Color Name HEX
POWDER BLUE #0080C6
SUNSHINE GOLD #FFC20E
XZ

What if I told you that the Los Angeles Chargers franchise could be traced back to the American Football Association (AFA). Would you believe me? Probably not. But it’s true. 

The Los Angeles Chargers have a storied history spanning over 60 years. 

Let’s take a quick look at their history starting with 1960 when they were born in the AFA all the way to 2017 in which they moved to a different city.

Minnesota Vikings

Color Name HEX
PURPLE #4F2683
GOLD #FFC62F

Minnesota Vikings history is a long one, filled with highlights. 

The Minnesota Vikings have been around since 1961 when they were originally called the Vikings and were an expansion team in the NFL. 

Originally, the Minnesota Vikings played in Metropolitan Stadium in Minnesota. In 1982, they played in a new stadium called the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome until 2009. 

They still play there to this day, though it has a new name now.

New England Patriots

Color Name HEX
NAUTICAL BLUE #002244
RED #C60C30
NEW CENTURY SILVER #B0B7BC

Today, we'll focus on the history of the New England Patriots

Their first NFL game took place that same year. It was a loss, 34 - 27 to the Giants, who went on to win the NFL Championship that season. 

The team struggled quite a bit in those early years getting their first winning season in 1970 and their first postseason in 1971.

New York Jets

Color Name HEX
GOTHAM GREEN #125740
STEALTH BLACK #000000

The New York Jets were a bit of an afterthought when they joined the NFL. 

During their first years in the NFL, they averaged 1,000 fans a game and only won two games. Surprisingly (or not so surprisingly) this was almost the exact same record as another New York City based team started during the same era, the New York Americans. 

Overall, the Jets had one win and nine losses that year. 

The following season brought an increase of 100% in both wins and attendance as they doubled to two games and 2,000 viewers respectively.

The team began playing at the Polo Grounds, something most of us today are familiar with by its more famous name: Yankee Stadium.

Oakland Raiders

Color Name HEX
RAIDERS BLACK #000000
RAIDERS SILVER #A5ACAF

The Oakland Raiders have had quite a few players that you may not have heard of. Some of them are pretty good, while others are simply just known for making one play. 

Of course, if you’re looking for a more relevant point in the team’s history, I suggest reaching back into the early 90’s and late 80’s when the Raiders won their division. 

Those were the good old days, even though they only lasted three seasons.

San Francisco 49ers

Color Name HEX
49ERS RED #AA0000
GOLD #B3995D

San Francisco 49ers history is filled with triumphs, trials and even a tragic plane crash. It is the oldest franchise in the National Football League, having been established in 1946. 

The team was originally named the San Francisco Forty-Niners. 

The 49ers were founded by future commissioner of the NFL, Bert Bell and businessman Tony Morabito.

The two owners decided to name their baby after "the first football team in California" which was located in Sacramento's Old Gold Knights and also happened to bear the same moniker of the current team: the 49ers.

Seattle Seahawks

Color Name HEX
COLLEGE NAVY #002244
ACTION GREEN #69BE28
WOLF GRAY #A5ACAF

The Seattle Seahawks have a long and interesting history. They’ve got a few Grey Cups and CFL All Stars in their locker. Their team has seen multiple players move on to win with the Seahawks. 

The team even had one of the best brass bands in pro football. It’s a franchise that has seen a lot happen over many years.

Jack Patera was one of the main figures in bringing an NFL team to Seattle. In June 1975, he was granted an expansion franchise.

Washington Redskins

Color Name HEX
BURGUNDY #773141
GOLD #FFB612

The History of the Washington Redskins is always an interesting topic. 

The team has had a great deal of success against most of their opponents. 

They have competed in some of the biggest and best organized sporting events around the world. 

Their performance has been so good that they have earned a long label in many books about History.

Atlanta Falcons

Color Name HEX
RED #A71930
BLACK #000000
SILVER #A5ACAF

The history of the Atlanta Falcons is one that goes all the way back to 1966. 

At that time, there was a growing interest from fans in Atlanta as well as the surrounding areas for an NFL team to play in Georgia. 

There were applications for an expansion team from several communities, but those applications fell short. 

The expansion applications revealed that there were many more NFL fans than most people had realized, and that inspired Arthur Blank to apply for an NFL expansion team.

Baltimore Ravens

Color Name HEX
PURPLE #241773
BLACK #000000
METALLIC GOLD #9E7C0C
RED #C60C30

During the conception stage of the Baltimore Ravens, it was clear that Art Modell wanted an entertaining, tough and competitive team. 

He didn't necessarily care about how they looked on paper or if their stats were impressive. He had won many trophies and awards during his tenure with the Cleveland Browns but that was still just one single franchise amongst many in the NFL.

Chicago Bears

Color Name HEX
DARK NAVY #0B162A
ORANGE #C83803

As we watch the Bears going into the 2016-17 season, it is good to understand some of Chicago's history with their team. 

You can take a look at this great infographic that will tell you 20 years of bears history in 20 minutes. This review will help fans be up to speed with everything about the Bears, from their first season all the way up to present day.

Cincinnati Bengals

Color Name HEX
ORANGE #FB4F14
BLACK #000000

The Cincinnati Bengals, from humble beginnings in 1967 owning three rookies, have become one of the more dominant teams in the NFL today. 

With an experienced roster and a team full of hard working men, they will never underestimate an opponent no matter their record. 

They play hard on both sides of the ball and are truly one of the teams to watch as they continue to dominate each season.

Denver Broncos

Color Name HEX
BRONCOS ORANGE #FB4F14
BRONCOS NAVY #002244

Not all fans of the Denver Broncos know their history. The team was established in 1960 and is the fourth oldest franchise in the NFL. 

They joined the league as part of the American Football League and were placed in the AFC West Division. 

They have remained part of the AFC ever since. The team was founded by Bob Howsam who was the general manager at that time. 

He went on to draft a couple of players during their first year along with Lamar Hunt who also had some input for drafting players.

Detroit Lions

Color Name HEX
HONOLULU BLUE #0076B6
SILVER #B0B7BC
BLACK #000000
WHITE #FFFFFF

From 1902 to the present day, the Detroit Lions have been one of the most successful teams in NFL history, as this article will tell you. 

Founded as the Portsmouth (OH) Spartans, before moving to Detroit and becoming the Lions, they had a high points tally on their first season back in Motown back in 1935; becoming NFL Champions for the second time. 

In addition to this first Championship win, they have another Eighteen Super Bowl Appearances, with Fourteen Division crowns and Tenth conference wins.

Indianapolis Colts

Color Name HEX
SPEED BLUE #002C5F
GRAY #B0B7BC

The Indianapolis Colts have one of the most storied histories in the NFL. 

You’d be hard-pressed to find a football fan who doesn’t know that the Colts began play in Indianapolis in 1953, that they’ve won two Super Bowls, and that they were led by Peyton Manning for 14 years. 

But there are many important aspects of their history that are less known outside Indy.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Color Name HEX
BLACK #101820
GOLD #D7A22A
DARK GOLD #9F792C
TEAL #006778

It is hard to believe the Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t exist 25 years ago. During 1996, the city of Jacksonville finally came into a new era of professional football entertainment with its new NFL expansion team. 

It was around this time when the entire country was in awe of the fact that their very own city was finally getting an NFL team. 

The people of Jacksonville cheered for their very first pro team to represent them and compete against other major cities in America for a chance at being called Super Bowl champions.

Los Angeles Rams

Color Name HEX
BLUE #003594
GOLD #FFA300
DARK GOLD #FF8200
YELLOW #FFD100
WHITE #FFFFFF

Just over a decade ago after 30 years in the City of Angels, the Los Angeles Rams left California. 

This is a mind blowing fact considering there were nine previous franchises that existed in the State of California before the Rams. In 1946, Los Angeles Rams owner Dan Reeves moved his team to Cleveland, Ohio. 

Expecting better stadium conditions, on-field success and an increase in ticket sales that did not happen, Mr. Reeves was more than eager to move back to his native Texas three years later.

Miami Dolphins

Color Name HEX
AQUA #008E97
ORANGE #FC4C02
BLUE #005778

The Miami Dolphins have a rich history that is often overshadowed by the Miami Heat, Florida Panthers and South Beach. I

 used to think everyone in Florida was a fan of the Dolphins or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But that's not the case. 

And since this is my first blog post on Forbes, I figured I would start it on a Southern Florida note: about my favorite team growing up, the Miami Dolphins.

New Orleans Saints

Color Name HEX
OLD GOLD #D3BC8D
BLACK #101820


New York Giants

Color Name HEX
DARK BLUE #0B2265
RED #A71930
GRAY #A5ACAF

The New York Giants got their name from the New York Football Giants turned professional football team. Perhaps inspired by the baseball team in New York City—the New York Giants as well—the football team adopted the name of "Giants" in 1925 although they would not use that name for another two years and served as one of several regional teams until the 1950s. 

Since then, the New York Giants have established their home base at Giants Stadium where they play all of their home games through present times.

Philadelphia Eagles

Color Name HEX
MIDNIGHT GREEN #004C54
SILVER (JERSEY) #A5ACAF
SILVER (HELMET) #ACC0C6
BLACK #000000
CHARCOAL #565A5C

The team was established in 1933 as a replacement for the bankrupt Frankford Yellow Jackets, when a group led by Bert Bell secured the rights to an NFL franchise in Philadelphia. 

Pittsburgh Steelers

Color Name HEX
STEELERS GOLD #FFB612
BLACK #101820
BLUE #003087
RED #C60C30
SILVER #A5ACAF

The team was founded as the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 8, 1933, by Art Rooney, taking its original name from the baseball team of the same name, as well as from the Pittsburgh city flag, which features two crossed sabers (originally called "burghs", or castles in Scots) over a four-leaf clover, on a black and gold background. 

The ownership of the Steelers has remained within the Rooney family since its founding . 

Current owner Dan Rooney is chairman of the team and his son, Art Rooney II , is the team president.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Color Name HEX
RED #D50A0A
BAY ORANGE #0A0A08
BLACK #003087
GREY #B1BABF
PEWTER #34302B

The history of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dates back to 1976. Played in the AFC West AFL until 1970, and then the AFC West NFL until 2001. 

As an expansion team in 1976 they won only one game, but did not lose more than five until 1987, when Dale Carter was injured on a kickoff return and missed the rest of the season. 

They have kept that record since then, making them the only team to make playoffs year after year without losing five or more games.

Tennessee Titans

Color Name HEX
TITANS NAVY #0C2340
TITANS BLUE #4B92DB
TITANS RED #C8102E
TITANS SILVER #8A8D8F
WOLF GREY #A2AAAD
STEEL GREY #54585A

The Tennessee Titans came into existence in 1999, when the Houston Oilers relocated to Tennessee. Although people thought it was a bad idea (and I’m sure there are still those who do), the Titans started with two winning seasons. 

The 2000 NFL season was a special one as well, as the Titans were able to get all the way to the Super Bowl, only to lose in a thrilling fashion to the St. Louis Rams.

Prior to playing in either of these cities, the Titans called two different cities home as they began life as a charter member of the AFL. 

The first was Houston, earning double-doubles with losses to the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets before heading to upstate New York to compete against the Buffalo Bills one season later.

In both of those first seasons, the team was led by Hall of Fame running back Earl Campbell.