The Chargers entered with five consecutive victories, and they have a game looming Sunday at Indianapolis (13-0), which has raised speculation that San Diego players were overlooking the Dolphins (5-7).
"Just from the game, it seemed like they were taking us lightly," Dolphins free safety Yeremiah Bell said. "We took offense to that."
Dolphins free safety Lance Schulters said he was insulted when San Diego eschewed long field goals in favor of trying to gain first downs on fourth-and-8 and fourth-and-6 in the first half. The Chargers converted on their first attempt en route to a touchdown and failed on the other.
"No respect," Schulters said. "I've never been in a game ... It wasn't like fourth-and-short. That's what we were saying on the field."
Reaction from San Diego players was mixed.
"In the first half, we were kind of going through the motions like we weren't playing a good team, like we had won two Super Bowls." Chargers tailback LaDainian Tomlinson said.
Said Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer: "I don't think you have to make accusations about people talking trash. It's football. People are going to talk trash. Don't take it to heart. Y'all won. Go about your business and win your next three, and we'll go about our business and try to win our next three."
Dolphins left tackle Damion McIntosh, a Charger from 2000-03, and Dolphins offensive line coach Hudson Houck, a Chargers assistant from 2002-04, enjoyed the upset.
"That was big for all of us that came up out of here; it's something personal to come out here and do something like this," McIntosh said. "I'm sure (Houck) is proud."
Added Houck: "It means a lot because it means we are getting better. It's a heckuva accomplishment because that's a helluva team."