Ken Stabler had previously been a finalist in the Hall of Fame in 1990, 1991 and 2003. However, until his election as a senior candidate, he had not made the final cut. Now, he joins seven others in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2016, although he will not be able to see his success be rewarded as he passed away in July of 2015 from complications resulting from colon cancer.
However, his legacy lives on, and we will remember him for being one of the best quarterbacks of his time. Let’s take a look back at his incredible NFL career.
Ken Stabler was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the 1968 NFL Draft. He spent his first two seasons on the inactive/reserve squad before joining the team in 1970 as a backup to quarterback Daryle Lamonica.
His play time steadily increased over the next three seasons, but it wasn’t until 1973 that Stabler became a starter. That same year, he led the Raiders to the AFC Championship Game, although they suffered a loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Thus began a string of five consecutive years that the Raiders advanced to the AFC title game and the first of seven consecutive winning seasons.
In 1976, Stabler led the league in passing and finished the season with a 103.4 passer rating. That same year, he took the Raiders to Super Bowl XI where he completed 12 of 19 passes for 180 yards, giving the Raiders an easy victory over the Minnesota Vikings. During his 10 seasons as a Raider, Stabler was a two-time All-Pro selection, three-time All-AFC selection and four-time Pro Bowler.
In 1979, he was traded to the Houston Oilers. During his first season, he passed for 3,202 yards. After two years, Stabler moved on to the New Orleans Saints where he finished his career. He retired after the third game of the 1984 season after dealing with two injury-plagued seasons with the Saints.
Stabler retired with a 59.85 career pass completion and a .661 winning percentage. During his 15 seasons in the NFL, he completed 2,270 passes for 27,938 yards and 194 touchdowns.
While his career totals are relatively modest when compared to today’s standards, Stabler, also known as “Snake,” nevertheless dominated and served as the perfect quarterback for the Raiders, according to his coach, John Madden.
“If I had one drive to win a game to this day, and I had a quarterback to pick, I would pick Kenney. Snake was a lot cooler than I was. He was a perfect quarterback and a perfect Raider.”
There’s no doubt Stabler was known for being one of the most accurate passers of his time and one of the best left-handed passers in history. He twice led the NFL in touchdown passes in 1974 and 1976 and was voted to the NFL’s All-Decade team in the 1970s. Now, his success is finally rewarded.
Celebrate Ken Stabler at the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend
With an Official HOF Experiences ticket package, you can be there to celebrate the life and career of Ken Stabler as he becomes enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend is action-packed and some of the most fun you will ever have. Enjoy the Concert for Legends featuring Tim McGraw, join Hall of Famers at the Enshrinement Ceremony and witness the Colts and Packers go head-to-head at the NFL/Hall of Fame Game.
Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to celebrate Ken Stabler and the Class of 2016!