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Denver Broncos break out some pistol formation plays with Peyton Manning

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When you think about the pistol formation, you think about Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick ... Peyton Manning?

Sure, why not.

The Broncos came out in a fun wrinkle for their first preseason game against the 49ers. Denver ran seven offensive plays in their first series with Manning, and three came out of the pistol formation (in which the quarterback lines up in the shotgun with a running back behind him) normally used with mobile quarterbacks for read option plays. The Broncos used it some with backup Brock Osweiler too, after Manning departed following his one series.

Manning isn't going to be reading the end to decide if he should pull it back and take off running himself, but that's not the only function of the pistol, as Matt Miller (located @nfldraftscout, who tweeted the picture at the top of the post), pointed out:

It's just the first preseason game, so who knows what Denver – who operated in a very uptempo style against the 49ers with Manning in the game, even after an incompletion – will do with the pistol this season. But it certainly was a curious addition to the offense.

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