Containing Jalen Hurts key for 49ers defense in NFC Championship game

SANTA CLARA — You don’t need hours and hours of film study to evaluate the greatness of Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts. All you need to do is hit the play button.

Hurts has had MVP season. Philadelphia went 14-1 in his starts and he had 3,701 yards passing, 760 yards rushing and 35 touchdowns combined. He led the Eagles to the top seed in the NFC and a playoff victory over the New York Giants.

He is also a master at the run-pass-option — an offensive set based on reads and mobility which quite possibly could be the kryptonite to the heralded San Francisco defense.

Hurts leads the NFL with 12 read-option touchdowns this season.

In the 49ers 37-34 overtime win over the Raiders, Las Vegas’ mobile backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham rushed for 34 yards on 7 carries and completed 23-of-34 passes for 365 yards, three touchdowns and a pair of interceptions.

Most importantly, Stidham was never sacked and Las Vegas possessed the ball for 32 minutes.

“We got tested in that Raiders game, kind of unexpectedly,” said 49ers defensive star Nick Bosa. “It reminded us of what a kryptonite it could be of the way we play.”

Discipline will be key against Philly this weekend.

“Just being smart,” Bosa said. “Not going to try to make a crazy play. Just playing within the scheme and that’s who you win at this time of year.”

San Francisco’s defensive leader Fred Warner echoed those sentiments.

“With the read option, any time you are facing a quarterback that has that type of ability, you just got to be on your assignments for a full 60 minutes,” he said. “Which is way easier said than done. There are times in a game where you might be part of a long drive. Guys get tired and all of a sudden the first thing that goes is your mind.”

“You forget where you might need to fit in a certain play. It’s all about being detailed and everybody swarming to the ball carrier if or when he does pull it (the ball).”

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