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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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