NFL defenses have become so complex this season that you can't possibly outguess them.

So the St. Louis Rams say.

So, they don't even try.

They don't even think about it.

"Our quarterback never calls an audible," Mike Martz, the club's offensive coordinator, said as the 13-2 Rams got ready to play Philadelphia this week on the second day of the new century.

"We just come out in the formations we like," he continued, "and run the plays we like."

The Rams beat Chicago that way Sunday when, ignoring the Bears' many novel blitzing defenses, they attacked furiously again to win again, 34-12.

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Aggression Counteracts Aggression

The Rams' strategic approach to football definitely isn't that of the offensive experts who since the time of Hall of Famer John Unitas have insisted: "Take what the defense gives you."

That's too confining for Martz.

"The defense doesn't limit what we do," he said by telephone from St. Louis. "We're a multiple-formation team that's as multiple as we can be."

Thus, as halfback Marshall Faulk accumulated 258 yards Sunday on 10 runs and 12 catches, quarterback Kurt Warner brought the Rams out in every formation known to modern NFL man--from the shotgun to split backs--regardless of down and distance from first and 10 to third and long or third and one.

Respecting today's NFL defensive players, Martz, a summa cum laude graduate of Fresno State, said: "They're so aggressive that they've got you if you aren't aggressive too."

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Rams' Secret Weapon: Speed

On most pro clubs this year, almost all of the innovative new ways of playing football have been shown on the defensive side.

Most offensive coaches have, by contrast, settled into conservative, predictable ways.

The offensive exceptions--the few that have repeatedly attacked the opposition imaginatively--are the Rams, the Indianapolis Colts, and at times the Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks and one or two others.

Of them all, the Rams have been playing the most wide-open football.

In part, that's because they have the speed for it: a fast back, Faulk, and four swift receivers, Isaac Bruce, Az-Zahir Hakim, Torry Holt and Ricky Proehl.