Normally, Andy Dalton takes about a 3 step drop. This does not give him as much time in the pocket as a 5 step. So now when you start in a position that is about the depth of a 3 step drop, the extra two steps gives that 5th step, giving the quarterback just a fraction of a second longer. This also allows receivers to get further down the field or deeper into their routes.
Now, say the Bengals wanted to do quick passes, it works the same as any other formation; however, you do not have as big of a risk of getting the ball knocked down at the line. Already being 3 three steps deep to start off, lowers the risk because it hurts timing of the defensive line.
The other thing that the Pistol allows you to do is run the ever popular read option. Out of all the plays that they Bengals have ran the Pistol with Dalton at quarterback, Andy Dalton has kept the ball for a total of 1 time. That number isn’t a lot, but the Bengals don’t run it a lot. However, on said carry, Dalton had an 8 yard gain. It is an awfully small sample size, but it shows it can be run at the right time.
If the Bengals can run with Andy, still have success in the passing game, and keep getting BenJarvus in space, the Pistol may be here to stay for a while.
P.S. Andrew Hawkins is now eligible to come off the IR. Image Baby Hawk getting reverses, bump passes, and hand offs in this offense along with the Pistol.