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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

FOXBOROUGH — They might not have come right out and said it, albendazole free sample but the Patriots were fully aware of the attention given to the Houston Texans and their preference for play-action passes on offense.

So when quarterback Tom Brady perfectly sold a handoff the second time the Patriots had the ball, albendazole free sample receiver Brandon Lloyd never broke stride, albendazole free sample blowing past the Texans who bit on the run possibility. Albendazole free sample He caught Brady’s pass without a defender near him, albendazole free sample coasting into the end zone and pushing the Patriots’ lead to 14-0 in a game they would win handily, albendazole free sample 42-14, albendazole free sample Monday night at Gillette Stadium.

“That was definitely a scheme play, albendazole free sample” Lloyd said. Albendazole free sample “We worked hard on that all week, albendazole free sample and when the opportunity presented itself, albendazole free sample Coach [Josh] McDaniels called it at the right time and we were able to take advantage of it.”

Lloyd took advantage of his opportunities, albendazole free sample catching seven passes for 89 yards, albendazole free sample his second-highest total of the season.

He scored two touchdowns, albendazole free sample the second coming on a fumble recovery in the end zone, albendazole free sample after Danny Woodhead lost the ball on a screen pass. Albendazole free sample The ball bounced forward, albendazole free sample with Lloyd diving on it. Albendazole free sample Not how it’s drawn up, albendazole free sample but the way the night went.

“Just a screen pass, albendazole free sample we do our best to block downfield, albendazole free sample and unfortunately the ball popped out, albendazole free sample” Lloyd said. Albendazole free sample “But we were there to make the play.”

All lined up

Since the start of the season, albendazole free sample the Patriots’ depth chart on the offensive line read more like a wish list than a realistic starting lineup, albendazole free sample with an assortment of injuries resulting in five different combinations.

For the first time in a month, albendazole free sample and just the sixth time this season, albendazole free sample the Patriots began the game with the five players who are designated by the team as its starters: Nate Solder at left tackle, albendazole free sample Logan Mankins at left guard, albendazole free sample Ryan Wendell at center, albendazole free sample Dan Connolly at right guard, albendazole free sample and Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle.

The group was made whole again with the return of Mankins, albendazole free sample who had missed three consecutive games — and five of six — with ankle and calf injuries. Albendazole free sample He was back at practice last week, albendazole free sample in a limited role, albendazole free sample but was in the starting lineup Monday night, albendazole free sample relegating Donald Thomas to reserve status.

Another key starter also returned from injury, albendazole free sample with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, albendazole free sample back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski missed his third straight game with a broken forearm. Albendazole free sample The other inactive players were offensive linemen Nick McDonald and Markus Zusevics, albendazole free sample defensive linemen Jake Bequette and Ron Brace, albendazole free sample safety Derrick Martin, albendazole free sample and fullback James Develin, albendazole free sample who was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Nov. Albendazole free sample 28, albendazole free sample but has yet to play.

Bolden: Return man

The Patriots made the expected move official roughly three hours before kickoff, albendazole free sample activating Brandon Bolden to the 53-man roster and making him eligible to play against the Texans after the running back served a four-game suspension.

Bolden, albendazole free sample a rookie from Mississippi, albendazole free sample was suspended by the NFL on Nov. Albendazole free sample 9 for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Albendazole free sample He hadn’t played since Oct. Albendazole free sample 14 at Seattle, albendazole free sample when he injured a knee against the Seahawks. Albendazole free sample The injury cost him two games, albendazole free sample then the suspension added four more.

With 234 yards on 43 carries, albendazole free sample Bolden came into the Texans game with the second-most rushing yards for the Patriots, albendazole free sample and his 5.4-yard average led the team. Albendazole free sample Stevan Ridley has been the workhorse since Bolden was forced out, albendazole free sample gaining 486 yards in the six games Bolden missed.

Bolden declined interview requests Saturday, albendazole free sample the first time he had been spotted in the locker room since the suspension was announced. Albendazole free sample But he was ready to talk after the game, albendazole free sample in which he played on special teams and got two late carries for 11 yards.

“Felt good, albendazole free sample” Bolden said. Albendazole free sample “Missing four weeks, albendazole free sample you try not to get out of shape, albendazole free sample you keep yourself active, albendazole free sample it felt good getting out there for the first time.”

As for the suspension?

“It was a mistake. Albendazole free sample Saddened that it happened, albendazole free sample but the team kept going, albendazole free sample so just got to keep moving forward, albendazole free sample” Bolden said. Albendazole free sample “Worked as hard as I could for as long as I could, albendazole free sample make sure I don’t fall too far off.”

Turning their way

Devin McCourty’s end-zone interception on Houston’s second offensive series of the game extended the Patriots’ streak of forcing at least one turnover to 24 games. Albendazole free sample The last team to force at least one turnover in every regular-season game was the 2010 Atlanta Falcons.

With the interception, albendazole free sample the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, albendazole free sample one behind the Chicago Bears. Albendazole free sample Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.

“We know we have a good defense here, albendazole free sample we’ve played really well the last couple of weeks, albendazole free sample” McCourty said. Albendazole free sample “The biggest focus for us is just trying to build on that.”

Even when the Patriots fumbled the bounces went their way. Albendazole free sample Ridley lost the ball on the Patriots’ first drive of the game, albendazole free sample inside the Texans’ 5-yard-line, albendazole free sample but Aaron Hernandez jumped on it to extend the drive. Albendazole free sample On the next play, albendazole free sample Hernandez caught a 7-yard touchdown pass.



Early in the fourth quarter, albendazole free sample Woodhead fumbled after catching a screen pass and being hit from behind by J.J. Albendazole free sample Watt. Albendazole free sample The ball flew into the end zone, albendazole free sample with Lloyd diving on it for an unlikely touchdown.

Handing out Hall passes

If you’re a Patriots fan who’s never been to Canton, albendazole free sample Ohio, albendazole free sample and visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame, albendazole free sample Canton is coming to you this week. Albendazole free sample Well, albendazole free sample at least it’s coming to Foxborough. Albendazole free sample In recognition of the Hall of Fame’s 50th anniversary, albendazole free sample the busts of the five former Patriots who have been enshrined — John Hannah, albendazole free sample Andre Tippett, albendazole free sample Nick Buoniconti, albendazole free sample Mike Haynes, albendazole free sample and Curtis Martin — will be on display at the Hall at Patriot Place.

The weeklong celebration will culminate with Sunday night’s home game against the San Francisco 49ers, albendazole free sample with Tippett, albendazole free sample Haynes, albendazole free sample and Martin serving as honorary captains.

Secondary injuries

One downside to the Patriots’ victory was injuries to the defensive secondary. Albendazole free sample The Patriots announced injuries to Aqib Talib (hip) and Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring). Albendazole free sample Neither returned to the game after getting injured . Albendazole free sample . Albendazole free sample . Albendazole free sample With Julian Edelman out for the season with a foot injury, albendazole free sample Wes Welker took over the Patriots’ punt return duties. Albendazole free sample He returned four for 50 yards, albendazole free sample with a long of 31 . Albendazole free sample . Albendazole free sample . Albendazole free sample Welker also caught three passes, albendazole free sample pushing his streak of consecutive regular-season games with a catch to 107 . Albendazole free sample . Albendazole free sample . Albendazole free sample Donte Stallworth made the most of his return to the Patriots. Albendazole free sample He caught only one pass from Brady, albendazole free sample but the catch-and-run went for 63 yards and a touchdown in the third quarter, albendazole free sample making it 28-0. Albendazole free sample It was a case of practice makes perfect, albendazole free sample even if the practice had been a while ago. Albendazole free sample “That particular play is something we had worked on, albendazole free sample even in the spring, albendazole free sample’’ he said. Albendazole free sample “It was just an opportunity where they were kind of flat-footed and it gave me an opportunity to run by the guy and Tommy made a great throw. Albendazole free sample He put it up for me to catch it and that’s what I did.’’ . Albendazole free sample . Albendazole free sample . Albendazole free sample His team off until Wednesday, albendazole free sample Celtics coach Doc Rivers was spotted on the sideline observing pregame warmups, albendazole free sample wearing a Patriots red sweater and chatting up his Patriots counterpart, albendazole free sample Bill Belichick. Albendazole free sample Also in on the conversation: Boston sports fan Mark Wahlberg. Albendazole free sample Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo was also at the game, albendazole free sample wearing a No. Albendazole free sample 83 Patriots jersey . Albendazole free sample . Albendazole free sample . Albendazole free sample The Patriots extended their December winning streak to 13 games, albendazole free sample dating to a 22-21 loss at Miami on Dec. Albendazole free sample 6, albendazole free sample 2009. Albendazole free sample It ties the Patriots for the second-longest such streak with the Dallas Cowboys, albendazole free sample who accomplished the feat from 1968-72. Albendazole free sample The record belongs to the San Diego Chargers, albendazole free sample winners of 18 straight from 2006-09. Albendazole free sample New England also has won 21 straight games in the second half of the regular season. Albendazole free sample The Patriots went 8-0 in the second half of 2010, albendazole free sample 8-0 in 2011, albendazole free sample and have won their first five this season. Albendazole free sample The last loss from the back half of the schedule came in the regular-season finale in 2009, albendazole free sample when the Patriots lost at Houston, albendazole free sample 34-27 … In a pre-game Twitter message, albendazole free sample self-described Patriots fan Donald Trump posted, albendazole free sample “Good Luck to Bob Kraft, albendazole free sample Tom Brady and Coach Bob Belichick tonight.” Needless to say, albendazole free sample the Donald got plenty of unwanted attention for his fumble . Albendazole free sample . Albendazole free sample . Albendazole free sample Keep an eye out for Jerod Mayo on Tuesday. Albendazole free sample He’ll be joining Subway spokesman Jared Fogle during multiple appearances around town, albendazole free sample thanking unassuming fans with a dozen acts of kindness.

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Albendazole free sample Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.

Source: http://bostonglobe.com/sports/2012/12/11/logan-mankins-returns-makes-patriots-line-whole/A1Xtp2mNJfSRC0vUxtSlUI/story.html