The Steelers, however, came back to win on a controversial, deflected pass from Terry Bradshaw to Franco Harris, later known in football lore as the Immaculate Reception.
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.
Kenneth Michael Stabler (December 25, 1945 – July 8, 2015), nicknamed "Snake", was an American football quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for the Oakland Raiders (1970–1979), Houston Oilers (1980–1981) and New Orleans Saints (1982–1984).
He played college football for the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
Although Stabler lacked remarkable arm strength, he was a master of the long pass to Branch, and accurate on intermediate routes to Biletnikoff and Casper.
The offense often struggled in 1967, and the defense's performance slipped.
As a sophomore in 1965, Stabler was used sparingly as a back-up to Steve Sloan at quarterback, following Namath's departure to the AFL.
That year, the Crimson Tide won their second consecutive National Championship, finishing the season with a record of 9–1–1.
He first attracted attention in the NFL in a 1972 playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After entering the game in relief of a flu-ridden Daryle Lamonica, he scored the go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter on a 30-yard scramble.