Locker Room Buzz: San Diego Chargers

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Observed in the locker room after the San Diego Chargers' 20-16 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

One that got away: The mood was somber in the Chargers’ locker room, particularly from some of the veteran players who realized how important this game was for San Diego to continue to have realistic hopes of making the postseason.

“It’s tough,” Chargers outside linebacker Jarret Johnson said. “We needed to get this win. This was a big one. Now we’ve dug ourselves in a hole, and we’re going to have to beat some good football teams to get back out of it.”

Taking it one week at a time: Despite the three-game losing streak, along with losing a tiebreaker to a Miami squad in the mix for the last AFC wild-card spot, San Diego coach Mike McCoy says no one on his coaching staff or players are waving the white flag.

“I’m not worrying about the playoffs right now,” McCoy said. “We were trying to beat the Miami Dolphins today. That’s the only thing on our mind. We’re taking it one week at a time, and there’s a lot of football left. We’re taking the same approach this week.

“There’s a lot of football left. Things are going to change weekly from now on. … We’ve got to get better as a football team, No. 1. And play a lot better to win games in the National Football League.”

Better tackling needed: Defensive captain Eric Weddle focused on his unit's obvious struggles tackling against the Dolphins.

The Chargers allowed eight plays of 15 or more yards by Miami’s offense.

“We need to tackle better,” Weddle said. “Even if you’re a smaller guy, take his legs and then he cannot really run. It was a tough loss, but we’ll bounce back.”

“It’s not good enough,” Chargers middle linebacker Donald Butler said when asked how his team played defensively. “We gave up too many big plays and missed tackles. And that’s a recipe for a loss, and that’s what we got.”