Ken Stabler completed 13 of 18 passes, one going six yards to Jeff Groth for a touchdown, to move ahead of Bart Starr on the all-time NFL passing list as the New Orleans Saints beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 27-17, today.
The return of pro football to the Superdome was greeted the way a vice officer would be welcomed on nearby Bourbon Street. Nearly half the 71,000 seats were empty.
Stabler, who passed for 129 yards, moved into 19th place on the career list, surpassing Starr's 24,718 yards. Stabler now has 24,764.
"Kenny Stabler was as sharp as I've ever seen him," said Chiefs all-pro safety Gary Barbero. "He didn't even look as if he'd had a layoff.
"I hadn't thrown the ball since we played in Chicago (Sept. 19)," Stabler said.
George Rogers, who gained 123 yards on a team-record 33 carries, appeared fully healed from the hamstring pull that had sidelined him before the strike.
The Chiefs closed to 10-7 early in the second period on Bill Kenney's pass to wide receiver Henry Marshall, who caught the ball in the flat, straight-armed a defender and went 44 yards along the sideline to score. But Kenney was not having a pleasant day. He was sacked the first three times he tried to pass, and when he finally got one away it was tipped and intercepted. When Steve Fuller replaced him, he was sacked twice.