Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians always talks about the team's next matchup on Wednesdays. When he addressed the media on Wednesday, he called facing the St. Louis Rams "a huge challenge both offensively and defensively, and special teams."
Arians said "explosive plays on both sides of the ball with be big in this game."
He didn't say much about the Rams offensive attack specifically, but he did mention that St. Louis head coach Jeff Fisher "has never been afraid of pulling the trigger on (trick plays) when he has the right look."
St. Louis has had some success with such plays. They faked a punt against the Seahawks. They had a punt return fake where Tavon Austin was on one side of the field pretending to prepare to catch the ball and run, while Stedman Bailey was on the other side of the field where the ball was actually going. On that play, Bailey scored returned the punt for a touchdown.
Austin and Bailey are guys Arians called "dynamic return guys."
Arians spoke mostly about the Rams defense, though.
"It's very aggressive, very physical, very fast," Arians told the media. "One thing (Rams defensive coordinator) Gregg (Williams) has always done is combine three-man fronts with four-man fronts and he does a great job."
The Rams are known for having a fierce pas rush. They started slowly this season, but sacked 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick eight times last week in the Rams' 13-10 win in San Francisco.
And Cardinals fans will remember the 2011 Thursday Night Football game in which St. Louis sacked Kevin Kolb nine times, sending the Cardinals to their first loss of the season, beginning the tailspin that ended with a 5-11 record and a coaching change.
Arians was asked if the Cardinals need to change anything for the pass rush or if Carson Palmer's internal clock has to speed up.
He responded the offense doesn't have to change much because of the different types of passes they throw. "You have to be able to block them as long as it needs to be to have a completion," he told reporters.
Robert Quinn has been a nightmare in the past for Arizona, but with new left tackle Jared Veldheer anchoring Palmer's blind side, Arians believes Arizona is "about 10 times better" prepared for what Quinn will bring to the table. In previous years, it was Bradley Sowell and Levi Brown.
"Jared's playing solid right now," Arians said. "It's an all-day chore to block (Quinn) and he tore it up again this last week against a pretty good tackle in Joe Staley. And he's not always in the same spot. Gregg (Williams) does a good job of moving him around a little bit."
Quinn will line up inside and outside, so it won't just be Veldheer who will have to hold up against the man who collected 19 sacks a season ago.
What sort of challenge do you expect the Rams to be for the Cardinals? Will this be the Cardinals' first real game pulling away from a team, or will the trend of close games being decided in the fourth quarter continue? Will the Cardinals get caught looking ahead to the Lions and fall victim to the dreaded "trap game?"