FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Safety Duron Harmon and his teammates on the New England defense know they have to deal with Marcus Mariota’s “unique skill” set when the Tennessee Titans visit the Patriots for Saturday night’s AFC divisional playoff game.

“He actually knows when to run and when to pass the ball when scrambling,” Harmon said Wednesday.

“It’s a very unique skill because a lot of guys once they get scrambling, they’re not even looking downfield anymore, they’re just looking to run. But he always has his eyes downfield – always knows when to run, when to throw the pass. I would say his touch on the ball, too, that gets people open when he’s scrambling.”

The Patriots have had their troubles with mobile quarterbacks this season – and there have even been not-so-mobile quarterbacks who have picked up yards on the ground against the defending champions, too.

Cam Newton and the Panthers beat them.

So did Kansas City’s Alex Smith, though Smith didn’t hurt them with his legs.

They beat rookie Deshaun Watson and the Texans, but Houston scored 33 points and Watson gained 41 yards on the ground.

The Patriots beat Tyrod Taylor and the Buffalo Bills twice and defeated Jameis Winston and Tampa Bay.

Mariota, who had an 87-yard touchdown run in 2015, his rookie season, ran for 60 yards on 10 carries in the regular-season finale against Jacksonville. He picked up 46 yards on eight attempts in the playoff win over the Chiefs last Saturday.

Mariota had two touchdown passes in the wild-card game, one actually to himself as he caught a pass batted down by Darrelle Revis and took it into the end zone.

He finished off the comeback with a 22-yard TD pass to Eric Decker, but the pass/catch was enough to make Harmon think.

“It looked like it was meant for them to win,” Harmon said. “That was … first of all, that’s a very, very hard play to make and that shows you his skill set, his athletic ability – to be able to throw the ball, have it knocked down and be able to catch it where he caught it, and go in and run (on) a scoring dive, it shows his athletic ability. It shows that any time he touches the ball, he’s dangerous.”

Fellow safety Devin McCourty sees the same attributes in Mariota.

“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, I think,” McCourty said.

“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.”

NEW ENGLAND running back Rex Burkhead spoke with the media Wednesday for the first time since suffering a knee injury in Week 15 and hopes to be ready for Saturday.

“Just ready to get back out there with the team,” Burkhead said. “Just excited for the playoffs and everything that’s in store.”

Burkhead returned to practice during the Patriots’ first-round bye week, and has been working his knee back to health. It would be fortunate for the Patriots if Burkhead can make it back healthy for the playoffs, especially after the way it looked when he went down with the injury against the Steelers.

Burkhead would not go as far as to say there was no doubt he would play on Saturday. Still, that he was even speaking with the media is a positive sign for his progress.

Burkhead is not the only Patriots player eyeing a return on Saturday. Wide receiver Chris Hogan is expected to return to action, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, while running back James White looks likely to as well.

MALCOLM MITCHELL’S chances of returning Saturday appear to be slimmer.

The wide receiver, who was designated to return off of the injured reserve ahead of Week 17, was not spotted at practice for the second day in a row Wednesday. He has to be activated by 4 p.m. Friday if he is going to play on Saturday.

Mitchell, who had 32 receptions for 401 yards and three touchdowns as a rookie last season, was put on the injured reserve ahead of Week 1 with a knee injury.

Coach Bill Belichick indicated Tuesday that Mitchell has a long way to go before returning to the field, but his game jersey was spotted in the locker room later that day.

TENNESSEE COACH Mike Mularkey said running back DeMarco Murray will not play against the Patriots and Derrick Henry will start his third straight game.

The coach had listed Murray as day to day after the Titans beat Kansas City in the wild-card round. But Murray has yet to practice, and Mularkey says the veteran running back is not close enough to play next week.

Left guard Quinton Spain missed a second straight practice because of a back injury.

Cornerback Logan Ryan (ankle) was limited in his return to practice.

JON GRUDEN did not suffer a losing season in four seasons coaching the Oakland Raiders, leading them to the AFC championship game once before being knocked out in the divisional round in 2001 – his final season in Oakland.

That season, the Raiders lost to the AFC East champion New England in the divisional round in the Tuck Rule game.

Charles Woodson appeared to force Tom Brady to fumble while the Patriots were mounting a comeback in the final two minutes. Brady’s arm was ruled to have been moving forward on a pass attempt, even though it was being brought toward his body.

The Patriots held on to the ball, and kicked two field goals – one in regulation and one in overtime – to win the game.

Now, 16 years later, as the Raiders bring Gruden back as head coach, the memory is not lost. His last memory of coaching in Oakland was the Tuck Rule game, and it’s one that was clearly on his mind during his introductory press conference.

“I’d also really like to thank all of the Raider players that are here today,” Gruden said. “I saw Charles Woodson – Brady fumbled that ball.”

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