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Packers Question of the Day - Can the Pistol Formation help the Packers?

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Packers Question of the Day - Can the Pistol Formation help the Packers?

Towards the end of the 2014 campaign while Aaron Rodgers dealt with the consequences of a strained calf, the Packers had begun implementing more pistol schemes into the offense. 

The pistol formation is typically the quarterback lined up in his average shotgun stance with a running back behind him. Not only does this formation give the quarterback and running back more time to react and decipher the rushers, but for the Packers, it took a lot of pressure off of Rodgers' injured calf.

The running game took form and the passing game remained stagnant at the high level that became the story of the 2014 Green Bay Packers. Should the Packers get back to running more pistol formations in 2016?


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (14) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

croatpackfan's picture

I really think that any formation which would be successful can help Packers to win SB!

RCPackerFan's picture

This formation should be the primary formation for the Packers offense, IMO.

The Pistol combines what both Rodgers and Lacy are best at.
What it does it is allows Rodgers to be in the shotgun which is where is he is at his best. It puts Lacy behind the QB running towards the OL which is what he is best at.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

RC and Nick: Talking about formations, I got GB's yds needed to go on 3rd down and our average gain on 3rd. Posted in the 2 TE set article.

Nick Perry's picture

Hey TGR, Thank you!!

staffordsneckfat's picture

I'm fine with tailoring the offense to your players' skill sets, after all this isn't your traditional Holmgren west coast offense. My only issue is the play action is less effective without the QB under center. Many of the Packers home run balls come off of good play action fakes to draw linebackers towards the line of scrimmage.

I say keep the pistol package around and use it but don't overdo it.

Since '61's picture

I see no reason why the pistol should not included among the various formations which the Packers offense utilizes. If they can run most of their plays effectively from the pistol they should use it. What they don't want to have happen is that certain plays become identified with a particular formation. The key is to be able to run any play from almost any formation or personnel group and keep the defense guessing. I believe that if the Packers offense stays healthy they will be able to utilize the pistol or any formation throughout the season. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

Tundraboy's picture

Spot on.

mrtundra's picture

What's the difference between a pistol formation and an I formation?

Zachary Jacobson's picture

Pistol just has a single player behind the QB in the backfield, whereas the I formation usually consists of the QB under center with a FB and RB directly behind each other, forming the shape of an "I".

staffordsneckfat's picture


Any chance we can get a sausage ranking article before the season starts? I'm traditionally a Hot Hungarian guy, but now that the ex wife is out of the house I'm looking to mix it up. Would love to see you open up a forum on here, comment section insight might be huge for me.

Thanks bro,

Fat Matt

staffordsneckfat's picture

The name pistol comes as a slight deviation from the original shotgun formation. Originally the shotgun was a QB not under center and a RB next to him, standing side by side like a double barreled "shot gun". The pistol formation has the QB still out from under center but the RB behind him like a single barrel "pistol".

Pistol: QB not under center, one back directly behind him.

I-formation: QB under center, two backs directly behind him (a FB and a HB behind).

Staffordfattyface is a card carrying NRA member, so send over anymore gun related questions.

staffordsneckfat's picture


lucky953's picture

It will always be a staple of a Rodgers run offense. He prefers the view of the defense from there. I think it's less effective for running a 2 TE set which should have defenses thinking "power run". As another commentator said, play action sells better from under center.

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