The Black Hole wrote:
I also want to add that the stat line in the game does not always reflect the effort of the player on his team. If Barlow shows up and works hard every day in practice, is a good teammate etc, but then gets screwed in games because his line doesnt perform and his team falls way behind and takes him out of the game...well..that certainly isnt his fault.
It sounds like you are closer to the 49er situation than I am, but I have watched Barlow several times this year. The picture I have of him this year is not a guy twisting and fighting for every yard, not a guy who's breaking tackles to get back to the line of scrimmage, but a guy who runs into the line and falls down. Yeah the O-line is very important but a good back will occasionally overcome a bad line and create on his own, something I haven't seen happen much with Barlow.
Now we have Hicks, behind the same line, pick up 139 yards. Yeah, it's against a bad ARI D, but Barlow has played against bad defenses too and hasn't risen to this level. So for whatever reason it looks like Hicks has overcome the bad O-line and their poor coaching/ownership and has produced on the field. For Barlow to say he's "earned" the starting spot is a crock, I don't care if he worked hard in practice or not.