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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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