SANTA CLARA — Right tackle Colton McKivitz had a specific checklist of what he needs to clean up from the 49ers’ season-opening victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The 49ers won 30-7, but McKivitz could not appreciate it as much as he would have liked after giving up three sacks to Steelers edge rusher T.J. Watt.
“It’s hard to win in this league,” he said. “To get it, you enjoy it. But you’re still thinking about the plays you messed up on.
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“It’s part of the game. You move on, and you get better from it.”
McKivitz took over this season as a starter after Mike McGlinchey signed a big-money contract with the Denver Broncos. He quickly identified the mistakes from his first career Week 1 start.
“You watch the tape and figure out what you did wrong, and try not to repeat it,” he said.
He knows this week’s opponent, the Los Angeles Rams, will see where McKivitz erred and take measures to exploit those weaknesses Sunday when the teams meet at SoFi Stadium.
San Francisco 49ers
“Now the biggest thing is going out there in practice and working on those, getting more depth on the sets and using the length I do have,” McKivitz said. “Those are the biggest things going into this week is having a bounce-back game and playing with length.”
McKivitz said Watt did a good job of “pushing the issue." And McKivitz believes he did not get his hands forcibly on him as quickly as he should have.
“It’s an easy fix,” McKivitz said. “And that’s the good thing. You beat yourself up for giving a guy a cheap one. It's just going back to basics.”
All was not lost for McKivitz. He had some good plays, too.
His protection held up well enough one-on-one against Watt to enable quarterback Brock Purdy to deliver a 19-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Aiyuk in the second quarter.
And the third quarter began with Christian McCaffrey’s 65-yard touchdown run. McKivitz and right guard Spencer Burford performed a well-executed combination block on Steelers defensive tackle DeMarvin Leal to cut off the backside pursuit.
“I take great satisfaction in that one,” McKivitz said, laughing. “I wish there were more like it. That was a good one.”