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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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