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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

Lloyd took advantage of his opportunities, buy cheap antivert catching seven passes for 89 yards, buy cheap antivert his second-highest total of the season.

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

“Just a screen pass, buy cheap antivert we do our best to block downfield, buy cheap antivert and unfortunately the ball popped out, buy cheap antivert” Lloyd said. Buy cheap antivert “But we were there to make the play.”

All lined up

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

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

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

Another key starter also returned from injury, buy cheap antivert with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, buy cheap antivert back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

“Felt good, buy cheap antivert” Bolden said. Buy cheap antivert “Missing four weeks, buy cheap antivert you try not to get out of shape, buy cheap antivert you keep yourself active, buy cheap antivert it felt good getting out there for the first time.”

As for the suspension?

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

With the interception, buy cheap antivert the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, buy cheap antivert one behind the Chicago Bears. Buy cheap antivert Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Buy cheap antivert Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.

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