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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

“That was definitely a scheme play, buy cheap benicar” Lloyd said. Buy cheap benicar “We worked hard on that all week, buy cheap benicar and when the opportunity presented itself, buy cheap benicar 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 benicar catching seven passes for 89 yards, buy cheap benicar his second-highest total of the season.

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

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

All lined up

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

For the first time in a month, buy cheap benicar and just the sixth time this season, buy cheap benicar 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 benicar Logan Mankins at left guard, buy cheap benicar Ryan Wendell at center, buy cheap benicar Dan Connolly at right guard, buy cheap benicar and Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle.

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

Another key starter also returned from injury, buy cheap benicar with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, buy cheap benicar 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 benicar The other inactive players were offensive linemen Nick McDonald and Markus Zusevics, buy cheap benicar defensive linemen Jake Bequette and Ron Brace, buy cheap benicar safety Derrick Martin, buy cheap benicar and fullback James Develin, buy cheap benicar who was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Nov. Buy cheap benicar 28, buy cheap benicar but has yet to play.

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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