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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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