Michael Vick, a 14-year veteran, took over in relief of Geno Smith in the second half of New York's 31-0 loss to San Diego. Otherwise the Chargers saw rookies in Jacksonville's Blake Bortles and Oakland's Derek Carr.
They know they're getting something different in Smith, a 10-year veteran who is having a solid season serving as a complement to the AFC's second-best running attack. He's completed 63 percent of his passes for eight touchdowns with four interceptions.
''They are explosive and Alex is playing at a high level,'' said Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano. ''He's confident in his throws.
''You hear all the things about him managing the game and then you put the tape on and you see how his completion percentage is up there, there's not a lot of interceptions, and he's putting it where they need to catch it.''
The Chargers, winners of five straight, might have caught a break in Sunday's game against the Raiders. With Carr not being sacked or hit, the Chargers edged the Raiders, 31-28.
Against Smith, the Chargers will need to bring some pressure. Which is a chore considering Smith's mobility.
''He is always looking down field to extend the play,'' Pagano said. ''He is a guy who when he doesn't like what he sees, has the ability to run with it and he is going to run with it. He has that ability to go create first downs with his legs. You have to deal with that.''
''From an experience standpoint, I think this is one of the most explosive offenses,'' Pagano said. ''With the weapons they have across the board it is a tremendous challenge.
''It's about us going out and executing and doing what we have to do as a defensive unit.''
The Chargers have just two sacks in their last eight quarters and 15 on the year. Linebacker Dwight Freeney has a team-high two but hasn't registered one since Week 3 in Buffalo.