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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

FOXBOROUGH — They might not have come right out and said it, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery 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, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery receiver Brandon Lloyd never broke stride, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery blowing past the Texans who bit on the run possibility. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery He caught Brady’s pass without a defender near him, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery coasting into the end zone and pushing the Patriots’ lead to 14-0 in a game they would win handily, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery 42-14, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Monday night at Gillette Stadium.

“That was definitely a scheme play, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery” Lloyd said. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery “We worked hard on that all week, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery and when the opportunity presented itself, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Coach [Josh] McDaniels called it at the right time and we were able to take advantage of it.”

Lloyd took advantage of his opportunities, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery catching seven passes for 89 yards, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery his second-highest total of the season.

He scored two touchdowns, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery the second coming on a fumble recovery in the end zone, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery after Danny Woodhead lost the ball on a screen pass. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery The ball bounced forward, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery with Lloyd diving on it. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Not how it’s drawn up, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery but the way the night went.

“Just a screen pass, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery we do our best to block downfield, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery and unfortunately the ball popped out, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery” Lloyd said. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery “But we were there to make the play.”

All lined up

Since the start of the season, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery the Patriots’ depth chart on the offensive line read more like a wish list than a realistic starting lineup, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery with an assortment of injuries resulting in five different combinations.

For the first time in a month, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery and just the sixth time this season, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery the Patriots began the game with the five players who are designated by the team as its starters: Nate Solder at left tackle, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Logan Mankins at left guard, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Ryan Wendell at center, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Dan Connolly at right guard, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery and Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle.

The group was made whole again with the return of Mankins, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery who had missed three consecutive games — and five of six — with ankle and calf injuries. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery He was back at practice last week, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery in a limited role, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery but was in the starting lineup Monday night, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery relegating Donald Thomas to reserve status.

Another key starter also returned from injury, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski missed his third straight game with a broken forearm. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery The other inactive players were offensive linemen Nick McDonald and Markus Zusevics, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery defensive linemen Jake Bequette and Ron Brace, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery safety Derrick Martin, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery and fullback James Develin, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery who was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Nov. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery 28, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery but has yet to play.

Bolden: Return man

The Patriots made the expected move official roughly three hours before kickoff, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery 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, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery a rookie from Mississippi, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery was suspended by the NFL on Nov. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery 9 for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery He hadn’t played since Oct. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery 14 at Seattle, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery when he injured a knee against the Seahawks. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery The injury cost him two games, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery then the suspension added four more.

With 234 yards on 43 carries, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Bolden came into the Texans game with the second-most rushing yards for the Patriots, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery and his 5.4-yard average led the team. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Stevan Ridley has been the workhorse since Bolden was forced out, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery gaining 486 yards in the six games Bolden missed.

Bolden declined interview requests Saturday, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery the first time he had been spotted in the locker room since the suspension was announced. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery But he was ready to talk after the game, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery in which he played on special teams and got two late carries for 11 yards.

“Felt good, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery” Bolden said. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery “Missing four weeks, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery you try not to get out of shape, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery you keep yourself active, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery it felt good getting out there for the first time.”

As for the suspension?

“It was a mistake. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Saddened that it happened, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery but the team kept going, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery so just got to keep moving forward, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery” Bolden said. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery “Worked as hard as I could for as long as I could, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery 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. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery The last team to force at least one turnover in every regular-season game was the 2010 Atlanta Falcons.

With the interception, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery one behind the Chicago Bears. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.

“We know we have a good defense here, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery we’ve played really well the last couple of weeks, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery” McCourty said. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery “The biggest focus for us is just trying to build on that.”

Even when the Patriots fumbled the bounces went their way. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Ridley lost the ball on the Patriots’ first drive of the game, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery inside the Texans’ 5-yard-line, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery but Aaron Hernandez jumped on it to extend the drive. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery On the next play, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Hernandez caught a 7-yard touchdown pass.



Early in the fourth quarter, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Woodhead fumbled after catching a screen pass and being hit from behind by J.J. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Watt. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery The ball flew into the end zone, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery 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, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Ohio, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery and visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Canton is coming to you this week. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Well, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery at least it’s coming to Foxborough. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery In recognition of the Hall of Fame’s 50th anniversary, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery the busts of the five former Patriots who have been enshrined — John Hannah, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Andre Tippett, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Nick Buoniconti, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Mike Haynes, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery 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, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery with Tippett, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Haynes, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery and Martin serving as honorary captains.

Secondary injuries

One downside to the Patriots’ victory was injuries to the defensive secondary. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery The Patriots announced injuries to Aqib Talib (hip) and Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring). Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Neither returned to the game after getting injured . Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery . Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery . Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery With Julian Edelman out for the season with a foot injury, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Wes Welker took over the Patriots’ punt return duties. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery He returned four for 50 yards, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery with a long of 31 . Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery . Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery . Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Welker also caught three passes, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery pushing his streak of consecutive regular-season games with a catch to 107 . Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery . Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery . Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Donte Stallworth made the most of his return to the Patriots. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery He caught only one pass from Brady, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery but the catch-and-run went for 63 yards and a touchdown in the third quarter, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery making it 28-0. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery It was a case of practice makes perfect, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery even if the practice had been a while ago. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery “That particular play is something we had worked on, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery even in the spring, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery’’ he said. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery “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. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery He put it up for me to catch it and that’s what I did.’’ . Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery . Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery . Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery His team off until Wednesday, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Celtics coach Doc Rivers was spotted on the sideline observing pregame warmups, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery wearing a Patriots red sweater and chatting up his Patriots counterpart, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Bill Belichick. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Also in on the conversation: Boston sports fan Mark Wahlberg. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo was also at the game, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery wearing a No. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery 83 Patriots jersey . Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery . Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery . Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery The Patriots extended their December winning streak to 13 games, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery dating to a 22-21 loss at Miami on Dec. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery 6, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery 2009. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery It ties the Patriots for the second-longest such streak with the Dallas Cowboys, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery who accomplished the feat from 1968-72. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery The record belongs to the San Diego Chargers, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery winners of 18 straight from 2006-09. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery New England also has won 21 straight games in the second half of the regular season. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery The Patriots went 8-0 in the second half of 2010, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery 8-0 in 2011, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery and have won their first five this season. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery The last loss from the back half of the schedule came in the regular-season finale in 2009, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery when the Patriots lost at Houston, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery 34-27 … In a pre-game Twitter message, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery self-described Patriots fan Donald Trump posted, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery “Good Luck to Bob Kraft, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Tom Brady and Coach Bob Belichick tonight.” Needless to say, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery the Donald got plenty of unwanted attention for his fumble . Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery . Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery . Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Keep an eye out for Jerod Mayo on Tuesday. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery He’ll be joining Subway spokesman Jared Fogle during multiple appearances around town, alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery thanking unassuming fans with a dozen acts of kindness.

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Alco screen 02 alcohol test free delivery Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.

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