National Football League
                      === Is the Pistol here to stay? ===
 by Adrian Fedkiw, Contributing NFL Editor
 New  Orleans,  LA (Sports  Network) -  The San Francisco 49ers' Pistol offense
 finally ran out of bullets.
 After  overcoming a 17-point first-half deficit against the Atlanta Falcons in
 the NFC Championship Game, the 49ers were unable to rally from a 22-point hole
 in  Super  Bowl XLVII, eventually  falling to the  Baltimore Ravens by a 34-31
 Following  a 34-minute third-quarter power outage, Colin Kaepernick was lights
 out  as  the valiant 49ers  cut a  28-6 deficit down  to two after his 15-yard
 touchdown  run with just  under 10 minutes left to play pulled his team within
 The ensuing two-point conversion was unsuccessful, but Kaepernick got the ball
 back  after the Ravens kicked a field goal and drove all the way to the 5-yard
 line before being stopped on 4th-and-goal.
 Nonetheless,  it  was a phenomenal 11-game  run for the young quarterback, who
 took over for the injured Alex Smith in Week 10 and never gave back the job.
 Prior  to joining  the college ranks, Kaepernick was recruited more for his 92
 mile-per-hour fastball as a pitcher than a quarterback.
 But Kaepernick wanted to play football and took his chances.
 And boy, did his decision pay off.
 The  25-year-old was virtually unrecruited out of high school, with Nevada the
 only school that offered him an FBS scholarship.
 And  all Kaepernick did was become the only quarterback in FBS history to pass
 for over 10,000 yards and run for more than 4,000 in a collegiate career.
 Then-Nevada head coach Chris Ault created the Pistol offense, a variation of a
 traditional  shotgun in which the running backs line up behind the quarterback
 instead  of alongside, and the read-options that branch off of it strictly for
 Kaepernick.  Now, the  2011  second-round  draft choice  has  used  it to  his
 advantage in the pro ranks.
 The  goal  of  the Pistol  is  to  get  running  plays going  quicker  than  a
 traditional  running set.  It  also allows  the quarterback  to  get a  better
 vantage point to read his coverages.
 With  the Wolf  Pack, Kaepernick strictly ran  out of the Pistol out of a one-
 back  set. But  in San Francisco, offensive coordinator Greg Roman has added a
 few wrinkles. The 49ers have deployed an offset-I formation to give Frank Gore
 a  lead blocker  and have  even had  as many  as three  backs line  up in  the
 And San Francisco isn't the only place where the Pistol has garnered success.
 2012  NFL  Offensive Rookie of the  Year Robert Griffin III and the Washington
 Redskins ran the Pistol and read option as well as anybody, leading the NFL in
 rushing  en  route to  a surprise  NFC East title.  In Seattle, Russell Wilson
 emerged  as a  rookie of the year  candidate after using both his arm and legs
 out of the formation.
 Both the Seahawks and Redskins made the postseason.
 In 2008, the Wildcat was the innovative game-changing trend of the league, but
 that quickly dissipated as the defenses began to figure it out.
 But  what about the Pistol? Is it here to stay, or will it be like the Wildcat
 and just fade away?
 Only  time  will tell, But  judging by the success  of the 49ers, Redskins and
 Seahawks behind their dual-threat quarterbacks, the NFL's newest trend doesn't
 appear as if it will die out anytime soon.
 02/04 02:38:20 ET