The Pistol Formation Power Series utilizes a great formation that puts the defense in conflict. By adding a second running back into the backfield the offense now has a much more diverse selection of run plays. At the same time by having the Quarterback in the shotgun and twins to one side the defense is forced to honor the quick pass and cover the whole width of the field. One of the most effective series from the Pistol formation is the Power series.
The Power is one of the staple running plays of offenses across the country. It gives the offensive line blocking angles and double teams while bringing an extra blocker to the playside. As a result defense must commit an extra defender if they are going to stop it. In the Pistol formation the Fullback who is lined up parallel will be blocking the C Gap defender which will guarantee the running back will run the Power. The other option is to have the Fullback arc around the C Gap defender and block the Force defender. In this case the Quarterback would read the C Gap defender (for more information on this play check out my article on the A Gap Power).
Once the Power play is established defenses will have to start over committing the linebackers to stop the play. One of the main ways Power can be defended is if the backside linebacker quickly gets across to the run lane. The way to combat this is by adding the Counter Play. The Counter is a very cheap play to install because, from the line’s perspective, it is run the same as Power. The only difference is that the Fullback and the Backside Guard will switch responsibilities. Instead of having the Fullback kick out the C Gap player now the Backside Guard will pull and kick him out and the Fullback will lead up on the playside linebacker. In the backfield the Quarterback will still open up and hand the ball off to the side of Power, but instead of the Running Back running the play through the frontside A Gap he will plant and hit the backside A Gap.
Another way defenses will try to defend the Power and Counter plays is to roll down a safety to add an extra defender in the box. This opens up the Power Pass. This is perfect when the overhand player is making a tackle on the Power for less than 4 yards. Sometimes this is a result of him seeing the backfield run action and flying to make the tackle while other times it is because the Safety has rolled down and let him play inside more. Either way it will open the Power Pass.
The Power Pass is a very simple play action concept that can help the Quarterback develop confidence and get a few easy completions while still opening the box up for the run. On the Power Pass the Line will full slide away from the play. This means they will be responsible for the gap away from the play side. This full slide leaves the playside C gap open so the Running Back will be responsible for this gap. He will do this by either blocking or getting tackled by the C Gap player.
The passing concept is a very simple flood route that creates an easy read for the QB. The outside receiver (#1) will run a go route. His job is to stretch the deep defender and open space up for the other routes. The second receiver (#2) will run a 10 yard out while the Full back will run a flat route. As the QB comes off a great fake he will throw the ball to the Fullback immediately if he is open. If the flat defender has jumped the short route and covered the Fullback the QB will throw the ball to #2 running the out. Rarely is #1 open but if both the Fullback and #2 are covered it normally means #1 is by himself deep and will be an easy touchdown.
The Power Series is a great way to establish a downhill running attack and punish the defense when it tries to adjust to stop it. When it is run effectively it can keep a defense on it’s heels and the offense gaining large chunks of yards.
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