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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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