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Pro Years


NFL Career


Ken ‘Snake’ Stabler was the fastest to win 100 games as a starting quarterback in the NFL, having done so in 150 games, which bettered Johnny Unitas’ previous mark of 153 games. Since then, only Terry Bradshaw in 147 games, Joe Montana in 139 games and Tom Brady in 131 games have reached 100 wins more quickly.
He finished his 15-season career with 27,938 passing yards and 194 touchdown passes after stints with the Oakland Raiders, the Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints.

Highlights & Awards

  • Super Bowl Champion (XI)
  • NFL MVP (1974)
  • AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1974)
  • NFL Leading Touchdown Passer (1974, 1976)
  • 4× Pro Bowl (1973, 1974, 1976, 1977)
  • 2× AP First-Team All-AFC (1973, 1974)
  • AP First-Team All-Pro (1974)
  • AP Second-Team All-Pro (1976)
  • NFL 1970s All-Decade Team

Oakland Raiders

Under Ken Stabler, the Oakland Raiders were 69-26-1 in his starts. In January 1977 he guided the Raiders to their first Super Bowl victory, a 32–14 win over the Minnesota Vikings. He’s the franchise leader in wins (69), completions (1,486), passing yards (19,078) and touchdown passes (150).

Houston Oilers

Ken Stabler was traded to the Oilers for Dan Pastorini prior to the 1980 season. The Oilers saw Stabler as the missing ingredient that could finally get them past the rival Steelers and into the Super Bowl. Houston, however, lacked the offense that Stabler had thrived with in Oakland, as Earl Campbell and Dave Casper were the few potent weapons they had.

New Orlean Saints

Ken Stabler followed Bum Phillips to New Orleans, signing with the Saints in 1982. The 1983 season was Stabler’s best as a Saint. He started 14 games, and while the team’s record in those games was only 7–7, Stabler was the starter for the final game of the season against the division rival Los Angeles Rams. Had the Saints won that game, they would have finished 9–7 and reached their first trip to the playoffs. But the Rams pulled out the victory late in the 4th quarter, 26–24. Stabler retired from the NFL in the middle of the 1984 season.

“We were the only team in pro football whose team picture showed both a front and side view.”


Ken ‘Snake’ Stabler was drafted in the second round of the 1968 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. After suffering severe knee injuries, Stabler became less a scrambling quarterback and more a classic, drop-back passer, known for accurate passes and an uncanny ability to lead late, come-from-behind drives.

He played a significant role in four notable NFL games with legendary plays – “Sea of Hands,” “Ghost to the Post,” “Holly Roller,” and the “Immaculate Reception” – and was on the winning side of three of them.

The Elias Sports Bureau notes that John Madden and Ken Stabler have the fourth-best win percentage by a head coach-quarterback combo in NFL history (minimum 75 games) (.756), trailing only Bill Belichick and Tom Brady (.773), Vince Lombardi and Bart Starr (.770) and Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning (.759).