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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

For the first time in a month, buy discount detrol and just the sixth time this season, buy discount detrol the Patriots began the game with the five players who are designated by the team as its starters: Nate Solder at left tackle, buy discount detrol Logan Mankins at left guard, buy discount detrol Ryan Wendell at center, buy discount detrol Dan Connolly at right guard, buy discount detrol and Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle.

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

Another key starter also returned from injury, buy discount detrol with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, buy discount detrol back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski missed his third straight game with a broken forearm. Buy discount detrol The other inactive players were offensive linemen Nick McDonald and Markus Zusevics, buy discount detrol defensive linemen Jake Bequette and Ron Brace, buy discount detrol safety Derrick Martin, buy discount detrol and fullback James Develin, buy discount detrol who was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Nov. Buy discount detrol 28, buy discount detrol but has yet to play.

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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