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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

Lloyd took advantage of his opportunities, alternative search viagra catching seven passes for 89 yards, alternative search viagra his second-highest total of the season.

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

“Just a screen pass, alternative search viagra we do our best to block downfield, alternative search viagra and unfortunately the ball popped out, alternative search viagra” Lloyd said. Alternative search viagra “But we were there to make the play.”

All lined up

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

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

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

Another key starter also returned from injury, alternative search viagra with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, alternative search viagra back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

“Felt good, alternative search viagra” Bolden said. Alternative search viagra “Missing four weeks, alternative search viagra you try not to get out of shape, alternative search viagra you keep yourself active, alternative search viagra it felt good getting out there for the first time.”

As for the suspension?

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

With the interception, alternative search viagra the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, alternative search viagra one behind the Chicago Bears. Alternative search viagra Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Alternative search viagra Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.

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