Since I can’t see the Rams in LA…

I lucked out Sunday. StubHub had a front row seat for me to watch the Rams in a drunken stupor.

I mean, I was the one in the drunken stupor, not the Rams. Whoops.

Anyway, they beat Tampa Bay 37-32, and I think I speak for sports fans from sea to shining sea when I say there are few things sweeter in life than your team winning a road game that you witness.

But from that excellent vantage point, there is not a strong list of reasons to believe the Rams are going to make the NFL playoffs. This game was more about cleaning up unfinished business, such as scoring their first touchdown — which Case Keenum did on the Rams first possession, a 44-yard pass to Brian Quick.

While long pass plays draw an emotional reaction, it underscored a simple reality: the Bucanneers have a horrible pass defense. Consider Keenum threw two TD passes. The second came to Tavon Austin on a similarly long pass play. On both plays, the cornerback didn’t have help from the safeties — whose primary responsibility is to prevent the deep ball.

When receivers turn around and backpedal in the act of catching a football, that’s because the receiver is so wide open he can almost signal for a fair catch.

L.A. can surely be pleased with its defensive line depth, which was considered an elite group before the Rams returned. Aaron Donald was said by NFL pundits to be on the level of Houston’s all-everything J.J. Watt prior to the season. Sunday, he deflected two passes. Even more important, for two consecutive weeks, Robert Quinn forced an opposing quarterback to fumble. Jameis Winston’s fumble Sunday was returned for a TD.

That praise has to be tempered, though. A Rams defensive lineman has been ejected two times in three games. I did not see what Eugene Sims did to earn his ejection, but as we used to say when someone at the party was about to throw up, “Dude, you’ve got to maintain.”

Even more alarming is that Winston threw for 405 yards Sunday. How much of that is on the Rams cornerbacks as opposed to the line, I’m not sure. However, as the Rams will be playing an excellent Arizona Cardinals offense this week, the gut feeling is L.A.’s defense might get further exposed.

Todd Gurley rushed for 85 yards that weren’t particularly noticeable, except for excellent balance on a touchdown run.

The upshot is this: The Rams aren’t a bad football team. In my opinion, in the NFL, with the exception of elite franchises or the utterly awful ones, all teams in the middle can be counted on to play a horrible game every four weeks. Why did the Buffalo Bills crush the Cardinals 33-18? Because Arizona is pretty damn good, but not elite. All of those teams in the middle will play way over their heads a couple of times a year and most can’t get out of their own way once a month.

The Rams had their September stinker in San Francisco to start the year, a 28-0 loss that still makes me cringe.

So it will take a lot more than five touchdowns against another middle-of-the-road team to see Los Angeles as more than what it is, especially since October is coming with one game sure to be a stink bomb in the process.

Which is sobering reality.

The offensive coordinator is likely the first fall guy for the Rams

The first thing to acknowledge is a grand failure can be a time for learning. And didn’t we all learn a lot about the Los Angeles Rams when they got their butts kicked in San Francisco on Monday?

The upshot is that L.A. might have had as much success running the flying-wedge offense last night if Congress had allowed it. Strap on the leather helmets, boys, it’s gonna be a dangerous ride to the outskirts of Concussionville.

The primary takeaway from this 28-0 wreckage is that most of it is the offense’s fault. The Rams gained just 185 yards, only 65 of it on the ground. The Rams took great pride in their running game, with last season’s rookie of the year running back Todd Gurley finishing as the league’s third-leading carrier. A good running game in the NFL is about 150 yards.

If you watched the game, the Niners were all too happy to commit more men into “the box,” football parlance for defenders lined up between the offensive tackles and no more than five yards from the line of scrimmage. They dared L.A. to pass, and the Rams were utterly dreadful.

Case Keenum didn’t even complete half of his passes (17-for-35). Wait, scratch that. If you count the two interceptions he threw, technically he did.

Even worse is wide receiver Tavon Austin’s four receptions. Keep in mind, Austin signed a contract extension before the start of the year with a princely sum befitting a No.1 receiver. If you’re going to get paid like a No.1 receiver, you have to produce like one. Four receptions for 13 yards won’t make anyone outside of your own family believe you’re the next Torry Holt.

As often happens when an offense gets humiliated to this extent, the defense flips out. Defensive lineman Aaron Donald is likely facing suspension for losing his mind and getting ejected. I’d like to tell you I witnessed what he did, but I don’t even want to listen to Chris Berman on commentary during good times.

Ultimately, there’s no way you get rid of Keenum, Austin or Gurley. What usually happens is ownership wants answers. And coach Jeff Fisher might point to offensive coordinator Rob Boras.

How do you break up a defense that stacks its men on the line of scrimmage? One way is the threat of long passes. Austin should have been running wind sprints to draw defenders with him, whether or not Keenum could throw the ball in that direction. If Austin is averaging three yards per reception, he may as well have never left the huddle because he sure as hell didn’t leave the line of scrimmage.

I don’t claim firing Boras will be an instant cure, nor do I believe he will be cut after one game.

However, Fisher has yet to finish a winning season with the Rams. This team is under pressure to win more than lose now, let alone lose by four touchdowns.

Expect Boras to face heat quickly, because it won’t get any easier for the Rams.

No, Jared Goff is not a bust

Yesterday, as the nation vented about San Francisco’s backup quarterback, Los Angeles Rams coach Jeff Fisher did likewise on the No.1 pick in spring’s NFL draft, albeit with a velvet glove.

Jared Goff won’t start for the Rams. Hell, he’s not even the first backup. He’s at No. 3 on the depth chart.

In Minnesota last night, a preseason finale where the first-stringers spend three hours in pads winking at the girls in the stands, Goff led the backups on the Rams to a touchdown in an opening drive and stunk up the joint after that. I think he went 6-for-16 overall, but after a while I watched “Tyrant” DVDs because this girl is freaking gorgeous.

Goff goofed in the preseason. The quarterback of the future completed 22 of 49 (44.9 percent) attempts for 232 yards (4.73 yards per attempt), two touchdowns, two interceptions, three fumbles and a 55.8 passer rating.

Considering what the Rams surrendered to draft Goff, four picks in this year’s draft was only part of the haul, people are understandably freaking out. I like that the Rams returned to LA, but I care more about Goff’s future than I do about you-know-who’s socks.

It wasn’t that long ago when — if a quarterback was a top draft pick — he was expected to sit and learn for quite a while. It’s the right call here.

I realize that’s not what people who shelled out dough for jerseys and tickets want to hear.

They want to get excited about a future that doesn’t include Case Keenum or Sean Mannion.

I also understand EA Sports “Madden” video games make us all believe we are just one cheat code away from being an NFL quarterback, but the position is hard to master from level to level. You don’t pass much in youth leagues. You do in high school. The athletic talent level increases dramatically in college, and the intellect and athleticism spike dramatically in the NFL. You can up-up-triangle-down-X your way out of a blitz from the Cardinals.

Goff has no business starting. Consider some recent quarterbacks who did in their first year. Robert Griffin III did lead the Redskins to the playoffs, but that was with a simplified playbook and he still blew out his knee. And he’s trying to rebuild his career with the Cleveland Browns. Good luck with that.

For every Ben Roethelisberger, there are two or three JaMarcus Russells. For every Russell Wilson, there is a J.P. Lowsman and a Matt Leinart. For every Cam Newton, and the jury is still out on him after that Super Bowl disaster, there is a Cade McNown, Akili Smith, Ryan Leaf and a Brady Quinn. Maybe even a Tim Couch.

The thesis being for every rookie quarterback pressed into service, the odds favor flameout better than they do fabulous. Even Derek Carr, who by most accounts exceeded expectations in year two, has his doubters because Oakland is loaded with younger elite players. Can Carr keep up, is the question.

So Goff on the bench is a smarter move to me. The Rams run the ball better than they pass, anyway. Besides, there is one area where L.A. needs to be assured that Goff was the right move: work ethic.

Earlier, I mentioned you-know-who, the 49ers quarterback turned social activist. He, too, was once the hot future all-everything in the NFL. Granted, he didn’t get playing time until his second year, but it didn’t take long for NFL defenses to adjust. And because he was more concerned with kissing his own biceps than adjusting his game, he failed, too.

Ultimately, I’m suggesting to you that because an NFL defense is an ever-evolving tactical unit of violence, speed and intellect, younger quarterbacks need time to get acclimated. It worked back in the day. It’ll benefit the Rams and Goff now.

The week in L.A. sports (7/29/16-8/4/16)

I would have had this earlier, but I was called in to work. So be it. I like talking sports. I love getting paid. There’s a clear difference…

Dodgers: Very little respect to the front office for finally getting a trade done before the non-waiver deadline on Monday. The primary swap was three minor leaguers for the top two players the Oakland A’s had to offer. Before we break down the trade, know that the Dodgers haven’t won a game since making the deal.

As for the trade, well … They brought in yet another injured starting pitcher (Rich Hill), because with Andrew Friedman’s way of thinking you can never have enough people under contract who are physically unable to compete. They also acquired a jolly good outfielder named Josh Reddick, in the process acknowledging that the deal is like the chemotherapy to rid themselves of their Puignoma.

Bottom line: yes, the rotation is in tatters, but it wouldn’t be in such a mess if Friedman hadn’t acquired so many injury-prone players in the first place.

Lakers: Earlier today, the team’s pursuit of guard Russell Westbrook for next offseason ended. Yeah, Westbrook figured why wait 11 months to give Jim Buss the finger when he could do so today. Westbrook re-signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder. A bench jockey for OKC took to Twitter to laugh at the Lakers, to which I would reply “You realize you’re no longer a title contender either, right? … Do you really want Kevin Durant to tweet what he thinks about you?”

Larry Nance Jr. apparently injured something and I don’t care much.

Clippers: The Los Angeles Times reports Paul Pierce spent $2.23 million on a residence in the area, which means he’s renting a closet in the back of a Whole Foods Market. Wakka wakka!

Galaxy: In securing a 1-1 result in Seattle on Sunday, the Galaxy pulled a remarkable little feat by not losing road games throughout Cascadia — Seattle (win and a draw), Portland (win) and Vancouver (win). For the uninitiated, it doesn’t sound like much. Portland is the defending league champs and the other two did reach the playoffs last year. Teams tend to mail their effort in when they travel in MLS. The Galaxy didn’t. Credit where it’s due.

Rams: I’m still genuinely thrilled that the Rams returned home. I honestly am. And then I recall they’re playing their first few seasons hereSigh.

Here’s an item to slide into your “no sh-t” file: ESPN wrote that in “position battles to watch for all 32 NFL teams,” it’s quarterback Case Keenum vs. No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff.

By the way, if you’re wondering why I’m in such a foul mood, I get that way every time I see some asshat with “lipstick” tattooed on his neck. Sure, playa.

Kings: They sold one of their minor-league teams to a group of trust fund babies in Boston and the sooner I finish typing that, the better.