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.He was also drafted to play baseball by the New York Yankees in 1966, the New York Mets in 1967 and the Houston Astros in 1968.Stabler made his first regular season appearance as a Raider in 1970.Stabler quarterbacked the Raiders to victory in Super Bowl XI, was the 1974 NFL Most Valuable Player and was selected as a quarterback for the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team.Stabler was posthumously elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.After subpar 19 seasons in which the Raiders failed to make the playoffs, Stabler was traded to the Oilers for Dan Pastorini prior to the 1980 season, after a lengthy contract holdout.
Stabler was recruited by legendary head coach Bear Bryant at Alabama.
He led the team to an undefeated, 11–0 season which ended in a 34–7 rout of Nebraska in the Sugar Bowl.
Despite the unblemished record, the Tide was snubbed by the polls, finishing third behind Notre Dame and Michigan State, neither of which played in a bowl.
During the season, Bryant kicked Stabler off the team for cutting class and partying, though he was given a second chance.
The Tide finished with an 8–2–1 record, including a loss to rival Tennessee.
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.