It's doubtful the Washington Redskins could dislike a victory more than this one.
Okay, so they came from behind today, led by quarterback Jay Schroeder, to win, 14-9, over the Los Angeles Raiders, a team that beat them the last two times they played when it counted, including Super Bowl XVIII.
Does this make up for the strange-but-true, "Don't worry, I'll miss too," competition of kickers Mark Moseley and Tony Zendejas, who collectively have botched five of the six field goals they have attempted in the two preseason games?
Does this atone for a first half overflowing to the brim with mistakes, including an apparent two in a row (only one of them counted) by top draft pick Tory Nixon?
Does this soothe the ego of running back George Rogers, who says he is not playing up to his potential? Does it fix another damaged knee, this one belonging to promising rookie tight end Terry Orr, who is scheduled for surgery Monday? Does it explain away the trials and errors of the special teams?
No, no, no, no and no, say the Redskins.
If you watched it and didn't like it, think how Coach Joe Gibbs feels.
"We made crucial mistake after crucial mistake," he said. "We made about every mistake you can make today. That's not our way of playing football. We're missing on all the valuable things we pride ourselves on -- no fumbles, not making mental mistakes . . . I wasn't pleased."
But don't necessarily call this team a bunch of sore winners. There were things that made them happy on a clear, sparkling day in front of 48,004 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. You just had to find them.
Tops on the list was the steady performance of Schroeder, who replaced Joe Theismann in the second half, completed nine of 12 passes for 70 yards, and led the Redskins to the winning touchdown -- Michael Morton's three-yard run with 4:55 remaining in the game.
"Jay is looking good for us," Gibbs said. "For a guy who has not played very much, he has really showed that he has big-time poise."
Schroeder completed four of five passes for 53 yards during the 70-yard scoring drive, three of them to rookie Joe Phillips, and said, "This is just what you want to do. It's a confidence-builder for the team and a confidence-builder for myself."
And one big downer for Babe Laufenberg, who didn't play today and left the locker room saying, "I've got nothing to say."
Gibbs still refuses to call Schroeder, who grew up in Los Angeles, his backup quarterback. But he did say he will decide this week if "Jay's the guy or if we'll give Babe some opportunities."
John Riggins didn't play, spending the day on the sidelines in uniform, with a towel draped around his neck. That left Rogers to run 10 times for 44 yards and catch three short passes for nine more.
Riggins is expected to play Friday at home against New England. "He didn't feel that great today," said Gibbs. "I'd rather give him one more week." Meanwhile, Gibbs says he likes Rogers' play, even if Rogers doesn't.
"I'm not breaking long runs," Rogers said. "I've fumbled twice in two games. I'm trying too hard. I was hoping this would be a good trade (from New Orleans). I don't know."
Bright moments came on defense.
In a whirlwind first five minutes of the second half, right defensive end Dexter Manley helped force one fumble, sacked quarterback Marc Wilson for an eight-yard loss and caught running back Derrick Jensen for a six-yard loss.
Rookie strong safety Barry Wilburn, who had four solo tackles, set up the Redskins' first touchdown with an interception of a pass by running back Marcus Allen at the Washington 22 late in the first half. He returned the ball 24 yards, sprung by a crushing block by Neal Olkewicz, to the Washington 46 with 1:11 to play before halftime.
Three plays and two pass interference calls later, Theismann threw eight yards to Don Warren, who dropped into the end zone in the arms of free safety Dwayne Greene.
For the longest time, though, the Redskins looked as if they were melting in the southern California sun.
In chronological order, the following happened to the Redskins in the first half:
Center Rick Donnalley snapped the ball over Theismann's head, watching the Redskins' first attempt at the shotgun explode into an embarrassing 18-yard loss six plays into the game. Gibbs says he will evaluate the shotgun this week. Odds are it won't be back.
Special teams player Steve Hamilton allowed punt returner Cle Montgomery to slide around him for a 27-yard gain down the right sideline into Redskins territory, setting up the Raiders' only touchdown, Allen's one-yard dive midway through the first period. Said Hamilton: "I just misjudged his speed."
On the ensuing kickoff, rookie Vince Hall, his back to the play, tried to catch the ball, only to watch it dribble to Morton, who gained seven yards before he was tackled at the Washington eight. Otherwise, Morton, recently picked up from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was impressive. Hall later left the game with a sprained knee.
Zendejas, back home where he kicked for the USFL Express, misfired on a 39-yard field goal try late in the first quarter, sending it wide right as the Raiders' Sam Seale closed in on him.
In the third quarter, Moseley missed a 35-yard attempt, and Zendejas had a 47-yarder blocked with 1:46 to play.
Finally, there was the case of Nixon. As Jeff Hayes punted from the end zone in the second quarter, he was caught holding linebacker Quency Williams, who weighs 44 more pounds than he does, in the end zone. The call mean an automatic safety and a 9-0 Raiders lead.
After Hayes' free kick, Nixon was beaten deep by rookie Jessie Hester for an apparent 56-yard touchdown from Jim Plunkett, but the play was nullified by a holding penalty on tackle Shelby Jordan.
Then, in the fourth quarter, another apparent scoring pass, 49 yards from Wilson to Dokie Williams, was nullified by a penalty for an illegal formation. Nixon was defending short on this one, free safety Raphel Cherry defending long.
Tory, Tory, Tory.
"I think we definitely need to look at that on the film," Gibbs said, "see what he did right, what he did wrong. There were some big balls completed on that side."
However, Gibbs already was searching for an answer.
"I think his coming to camp (late, due to a holdout) had something to do with that."