Patriots

Patriots’ improved run defense vs. QBs will be tested against Marcus Mariota

(Adam Richins/Boston Sports Journal)

FOXBOROUGH — The good news? The Patriots are no longer the worst team in the league when it comes to defending mobile quarterbacks.

The bad news? They’re facing one of the best running quarterbacks in the NFL this weekend.

Two weeks ago, after letting Mitch Trubisky duck and dodge his way around the Greater Chicago area for the afternoon like Ferris Bueller, New England was dead last when it came to allowing rushing yards to quarterbacks.

“We didn’t do a very good job of rushing the passer,” Bill Belichick said after Trubisky’s 81 rushing yards that afternoon, which including a 39-yard run. “I mean, bad coaching, bad tackling, some bad playing. Just not very good.”

Through seven games, the Patriots had yielded 182 rushing yards from quarterbacks on 24 carries, the most in the league. That was an average of 7.6 yards per carry and 26 yards per game.

The last two weeks, that average has improved. Not a whole lot, but enough to get them out of the basement.