Cardinals, Rams Both in Transition

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The Rams are continuing to remake their roster. The Cardinals have two straight division titles.

Put those facts together and you would think Sunday's game in St. Louis should be a blowout victory for Arizona.

But the Cardinals have undergone a roster makeover, too. The Cardinals have 17 new players, including five new starters on defense and a new quarterback in Derek Anderson.

Even the Cardinals are a little curious about how all of this is going to come together.

There are questions on both sides of the ball. There are three new starting linebackers, a different right cornerback and a new free safety.

Outside linebacker Joey Porter, signed in free agency, is supposed to help provide a pass rush that's been spotty in recent year.

Paris Lenon, a former Ram, is directing the defense from his inside linebacker position. Next to him is a rookie, Daryl Washington.

At cornerback, Greg Toler will start the first game of his career, and Kerry Rhodes is taking over at free safety for Antrel Rolle.

The Cardinals expect some rough spots, which makes opening against the Rams advantageous. They have a rookie quarterback in Sam Bradford, little talent at receiver and two rookies on the offensive line.

The Cardinals should have some room for errors, especially if their defensive front dominates, as expected.

On offense, the line has been reshaped with three changes in the starting lineup. Levi Brown moves from right tackle to left and was inconsistent in the preseason.

Brandon Keith gets the first start of his career at right tackle, and veteran Alan Faneca is now the starting left guard.

More importantly, quarterback Kurt Warner is gone. With his quick release and ability to read defenses, Warner helped the Cardinals overcome mistakes up front.

It's questionable if Anderson can do that. He has a powerful arm but tends to throw everything at the same speed. He lacks touch, as shown by his career 53 percent completion percentage.

SERIES HISTORY: 63rd regular-season meeting. Series tied, 30-30-2. The Cardinals have won seven straight. They scored at least 31 points in all but one of those games, averaging nearly 34 points. The Rams last beat the Cardinals in September 2006.

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