"My man didn't really do too much, so I just looked back at the quarterback and I saw a crossing route coming up ad I was able to go at it," Gilchrist said.
His immediate reaction?
"Thank you Lord," Gilchrist said. "It's one of those plays that as a kid you dream of. In basketball you want to make the game-winning shot, and in football you want to make the game-winning play, somehow."
The Chargers (7-4) won their second straight game after a three-game losing streak. They pulled into a second-place tie in the AFC West with Kansas City, which lost at Oakland on Thursday night. Denver rallied to beat Miami and leads the division at 8-3.
"They had good coverage on my primary, and Kenny just kind of flashed and I pulled," Hill said. "It was just a reaction.
"The coaches put the ball in my hands with a chance to win the game, and I appreciate that," Hill said. "I let them down. There's no way you can sit there and second-guess the play calling. If you're going to second-guess anything, second-guess the guy who didn't execute the play, and that's me."
The Rams had two touchdown passes nullified by penalties, although they ended up scoring on one of those drives, and had a field goal attempt blocked.
"The plan was not to go down there and settle for a field goal. We were trying to win the game," coach Jeff Fisher said. "It's not Shaun's fault. He got us there. He made some big throws earlier that kept us in the game."
The Rams (4-7) were trying for consecutive wins for the first time this season, having upset Denver a week earlier.
The Chargers' third-quarter outburst started when Mathews took a delayed handoff and picked his way up the middle to cap their first possession of the second half for a 13-10 lead. It was his first touchdown since opening night. Mathews sprained his right knee in Week 2 and missed the next seven games.
Gachkar seemed to be the only player who realized it was a fumble.
"It was pretty lucky," Gachkar said. "I basically blacked out once I picked the ball up because I hadn't scored since high school. I had no energy after it because my entire team basically hit me celebrating. It was pretty cool."
Allen caught a screen pass from Rivers and picked his way through the defense to give San Diego a 27-17 lead with 8:09 to play.
NOTES: Mathews briefly came out of the game with a shoulder injury but returned. ... Chris Watt, a rookie from Notre Dame, had his first NFL start and was the fourth player to start at center for the Chargers this season. ... Allen had six catches for 104 yards. ... Hill, making his second straight start, was 18 of 35 for 198 yards. ...
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press