June 22, 2011

MVP Profile: Ken Stabler, 1974

Quarterback, Oakland Raiders

Age: 29 (Dec. 25)
7th season in pro football, 5th active in NFL & with Raiders
College: Alabama
Height: 6’3” Weight: 215

Following an outstanding college career, the left-handed Stabler was chosen by the Raiders in the second round of the 1968 NFL/AFL draft. He was farmed out for a brief apprenticeship in the Continental Football League in ’68 and spent 1969 on injured reserve before he saw his first regular season NFL action as the third-string QB in 1970. Knee injuries robbed Stabler of his mobility, but The Snake was an accurate passer who took over as starting QB in 1973 and led the league in completion percentage (62.7) while earning selection to the Pro Bowl.

1974 Season Summary
Appeared in all 14 games and started 13 of them
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Attempts – 310 [8]
Most attempts, game – 41 vs. Cincinnati 10/20
Completions – 178 [7]
Most completions, game – 22 vs. Denver 11/24
Yards – 2469 [5]
Most yards, game – 252 vs. Cincinnati 10/20
Completion percentage – 57.4 [7]
Yards per attempt – 8.0 [3]
TD passes – 26 [1]
Most TD passes, game – 4 at Denver 11/3, vs. New England 12/1
Interceptions – 12 [14, tied with five others]
Most interceptions, game – 3 vs. Denver 11/24
Passer rating – 94.9 [2]
200-yard passing games – 7

Attempts – 12
Most attempts, game - 3 (for 3 yds.) at Denver 11/3, (for -7 yds.) vs. San Diego 11/17
Yards – -2
Most yards, game – 6 yards (on 2 carries) at San Diego 10/13
Yards per attempt – -0.2
TDs – 1

TDs – 1
Points - 6

Postseason: 2 G
Pass attempts – 66
Most attempts, game - 36 vs. Pittsburgh, AFC Championship
Pass completions – 39
Most completions, game - 20 vs. Miami, AFC Divisional playoff
Passing yardage – 564
Most yards, game - 293 vs. Miami, AFC Divisional playoff
TD passes – 5
Most TD passes, game - 4 vs. Miami, AFC Divisional playoff
Interceptions – 4
Most interceptions, game – 3 vs. Pittsburgh, AFC Championship

Rushing attempts – 4
Most rushing attempts, game - 3 vs. Miami, AFC Divisional playoff
Rushing yards – 7
Most rushing yards, game - 7 vs. Miami, AFC Divisional playoff
Average gain rushing – 1.8
Rushing TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
NFL Offensive Player of the Year: AP
AFC Player of the Year: Sporting News
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFWA, NEA, Pro Football Weekly
1st team All-AFC: AP, UPI, Pro Football Weekly, Sporting News
Pro Bowl

Raiders went 12-2 to finish first in the AFC West with the conference’s best record while leading the NFL in total offense (4718 yards), points (355), and touchdowns (46). Won AFC Divisional playoff over Miami Dolphins (28-26). Lost AFC Championship to Pittsburgh Steelers (24-13).

Stabler quarterbacked the Raiders to a NFL title in 1976, earning MVP recognition while also leading the league in passing (103.4 rating). He was again a Pro Bowl selection in 1976 and ’77 and threw for a career-high 3615 yards in 1979. Traded to the Houston Oilers for QB Dan Pastorini with the expectation that he would get the Oilers into the Super Bowl, he instead endured two disappointing seasons before moving on to New Orleans for the last three years of his career. Overall, Stabler threw for 27,938 yards and, prone to taking chances, gave up 222 interceptions as opposed to 194 TDs. However, The Snake’s regular season record was 96-49-1 and he was 7-5 in postseason play.


MVP Profiles feature players who were named MVP or Player of the Year in the NFL, AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, Maxwell Club – Bert Bell Award, or the league itself).

[Updated 2/15/14]

1 comment:

  1. I wonder why Ken Stabler isn't in the HOF. True, he played long past his prime with diminishing skills, and he tended to force the ball which resulted in more interceptions than TD's over his career. But Stabler was a great competitor, a leader, and one of the most accurate passers of the time. He truly loved the game. Furthermore, he had a knack for making unheard-of plays when needed most, and was the heart of the great Raider teams of the 70's. He had the ability to shrug off bad games and mistakes, and still make things happen. And more often than not, he was a winner. Even in his late years, even if he was having a bad game, a team was never completely out of it so long as Stabler could get his hands on the football.