- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

It’s Batman and Robin, Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins, back together again — the two quarterbacks who have been thrown together since they were drafted by the Washington Redskins in 2012.

The interloper, Colt McCoy, appears to be on the shelf, suffering from the disease known as “Redskins pass protection.” Griffin and Cousins at one time represented a wealth of riches for this franchise at quarterback.

Now? The Redskins may not have one NFL quarterback between them.

The last time Griffin and Cousins were active together was the second week of the season. Griffin had a disappointing performance in the season-opening 17-6 loss to the Houston Texans — following a disappointing preseason — but appeared for a brief moment to have recaptured his rookie magic in the opening drive of the second game against Jacksonville.

But he lasted just a few minutes before going down with a dislocated left ankle. Enter Cousins, who lit up the Jaguars, completing 22 of 33 passes for 250 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Then came the moment when this team seemed poised to have a real season — in Philadelphia, against its opponent this Saturday at FedEx Field. With Griffin on the disabled list, Cousins got the start, and the Redskins went toe-to-toe with the defending NFC East champion Eagles on their turf before losing 37-34.

Cousins completed 30 of 48 passes for 427 yards, three touchdowns and just one interception. It was the fourth-highest passing total in a regular season in team history. After that, anything seemed possible for this team.

Here’s what I wrote following that game: “Saturday, Dec. 20, at FedEx Field, time to be determined, the Washington Redskins host the Philadelphia Eagles. You might want to be there.”

Boy, I can write some wild stuff sometimes.

The only football fans who want to be at FedEx Field on Saturday will be Eagles fans, who are expected to invade the Redskins‘ home field.

It all went wrong after that for Cousins — eight interceptions in four games, three of them bad losses to the Giants, Seahawks and Cardinals — and then McCoy, the third-string quarterback, was the starting quarterback.

Cousins was the backup to McCoy in the Dallas game, but he would have just as soon have worn a disguise. Then, when Griffin was activated for the Vikings game on Nov. 2, Cousins was banished to the desert wasteland known as the inactive list — a spectator with a field pass for games.

Cousins gave body language a bad name. The last time we heard from him meeting with the press when he played, it was after he was pulled for McCoy in the Tennessee game. When asked about coach Jay Gruden benching him, Cousins said, “I felt like I needed to submit to his authority.”

Ouch. Not what you really want to hear from your quarterback.

Now he is back — the backup Saturday to Griffin, which, as we know, because of the disease of “Redskins pass protection,” is one breath away from being back on the field.

Griffin had lost his starting job to McCoy, following some of the worst quarterbacking we’ve seen here in losses to Minnesota, Tampa and San Francisco.

The last time Griffin was back as the starter, after he was activated for the Minnesota game, we heard stories from him about how hard he worked watching film and learning the offense.

“My eyes were a little red, and my wife was wondering what I was doing,” Griffin told reporters. “But you always work hard, so I wouldn’t put a number of hours on how much film I watched. It was already a lot. Just imagine not being able to do anything, sitting around. All you’re doing is watching film.”
If true, Griffin gave watching film a bad name.

So much has happened since Cousins nearly beat the Eagles — since Griffin came back from his dislocated ankle — and none of it good.

“It’s a long road,” Cousins told reporters after he was pulled in the Tennessee game. “It’s going to be a lot of ups and downs. No one ever said it was going to be easy.”

But no one said it would be a nightmare.

Now we are back to the beginning — Griffin and Cousins, Batman and Robin — and Gotham City is in ruins.

• Thom Loverro is co-host of “The Sports Fix,” noon to 2 p.m. daily on ESPN 980 and espn980.com.


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