FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Although it typically hasn’t impacted the bottom line, the New England Patriots have had trouble slamming on the brakes against mobile quarterbacks this season.

Alex Smith didn’t run as much as he can – mainly because he was passing for 368 yards and four touchdowns while leading the Kansas City Chiefs to a season-opening victory.

But Cam Newton made plenty of plays with his legs as the Carolina Panthers departed Gillette Stadium with a win in Week 4. Same goes for Deshaun Watson the previous game, although the Houston Texans came up short in their upset bid.

Tyrod Taylor also was successful scrambling in two games against the Patriots, but the rest of the Buffalo Bills weren’t and the end result was a pair of losses.

The Patriots will face another dual-threat quarterback Saturday night when they take on Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans in an AFC divisional-round game at Gillette.

The defending Super Bowl champions expect Mariota to test them with his legs. It’s on them to make sure he fails. To that end, the Patriots spent time during their bye week conducting some self-scouting.

“I think the main thing is we know how teams are trying to attack us because they’ll look at the success that other mobile quarterbacks might have had against us,” Patriots safety Duron Harmon said. “So, we know we’re going to have to be ready to fix the mistakes that we might have had against those mobile quarterbacks.

“And, we know when you give up something on tape, a team is always going to try to test you there and see if you got the problem fixed, and if not, they’re going to keep running it.”

However, it’s not just mobile quarterbacks who have posed problems for the Patriots when it comes to scrambling.

Jets QB Josh McCown, who’s 38, picked up 21 yards on three carries against the Patriots in Week 6. Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons gained 37 yards on three carries a week later.

McCown ran for 101 yards in his other 14 games. Ryan rushed for 106 yards in his other 15 games.

One issue hounding the Patriots is they have frequently gotten too wide and deep in the backfield when pass rushing, allowing quarterbacks to take off unchecked up the middle.

“It’s very important to understand that once he feels that pressure on the outside, he’s going to step up, and if you don’t counter with him or come inside with him, he’s able to make plays with his legs,” defensive end Trey Flowers said of Mariota.

Mariota, who was drafted second overall by the Titans after winning the Heisman Trophy at Oregon as a junior in 2014, rushed for 52 yards and four first downs on five carries (excluding three kneeldowns) as the Titans upset the Kansas City Chiefs last weekend.

The 6-foot-2, 222-pound Mariota ranked eighth in the league among quarterbacks with 312 rushing yards during the regular season despite dealing with hamstring, ankle and knee injuries. He averaged 4 yards a carry and scored a touchdown (five) or picked up a first down (17) on 36.7 percent of his carries.

The Patriots would prefer to keep Mariota in the pocket and make him beat them with his arm.

“I mean, it’s not like if he stays in the pocket he can’t make throws, but when he escapes outside the pocket and he has the ability to run and throw, you honestly really don’t have a shot to stop him,” Patriots safety Devin McCourty said. “So, we’ve played quarterbacks like this where we do want to try to keep him in the pocket, but I think that’s just the beginning part of it.

“We also, when we’re man coverage or zone coverage, we’ve got to be able to play our zones or our man tight and not allow windows or not allow a great pocket for him to sit back there and throw, because he’s a good enough passer that he’ll make all the throws on the football field.”