This is Adrian Bejan on how the current offensive explosion in NFL scoring can be thought of in terms of a river’s effect on its basin.
Over time, a river relentlessly wears away its banks and, as a result, water flows faster and faster toward its mouth. When obstacles fall in its way, say, a tree, or a boulder-or in the case of an NFL offense, beefy linebackers like the Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Lewis or the Chicago Bears’ Brian Urlacher-it will figure out how to wear those away, too. “The game is a flow system, a river basin of bodies that are milling around trying to find the most effective and easiest way to move,” says Prof. Bejan. “Over time you will end up with the right way to play the game, with the patterns that are the most efficient.”