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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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