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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

FOXBOROUGH — They might not have come right out and said it, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us 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 k 9 slim down dogs in us receiver Brandon Lloyd never broke stride, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us blowing past the Texans who bit on the run possibility. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us He caught Brady’s pass without a defender near him, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us coasting into the end zone and pushing the Patriots’ lead to 14-0 in a game they would win handily, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us 42-14, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Monday night at Gillette Stadium.

“That was definitely a scheme play, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us” Lloyd said. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us “We worked hard on that all week, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us and when the opportunity presented itself, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us 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 k 9 slim down dogs in us catching seven passes for 89 yards, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us his second-highest total of the season.

He scored two touchdowns, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us the second coming on a fumble recovery in the end zone, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us after Danny Woodhead lost the ball on a screen pass. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us The ball bounced forward, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us with Lloyd diving on it. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Not how it’s drawn up, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us but the way the night went.

“Just a screen pass, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us we do our best to block downfield, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us and unfortunately the ball popped out, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us” Lloyd said. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us “But we were there to make the play.”

All lined up

Since the start of the season, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us the Patriots’ depth chart on the offensive line read more like a wish list than a realistic starting lineup, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us with an assortment of injuries resulting in five different combinations.

For the first time in a month, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us and just the sixth time this season, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us the Patriots began the game with the five players who are designated by the team as its starters: Nate Solder at left tackle, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Logan Mankins at left guard, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Ryan Wendell at center, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Dan Connolly at right guard, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us and Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle.

The group was made whole again with the return of Mankins, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us who had missed three consecutive games — and five of six — with ankle and calf injuries. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us He was back at practice last week, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us in a limited role, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us but was in the starting lineup Monday night, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us relegating Donald Thomas to reserve status.

Another key starter also returned from injury, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski missed his third straight game with a broken forearm. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us The other inactive players were offensive linemen Nick McDonald and Markus Zusevics, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us defensive linemen Jake Bequette and Ron Brace, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us safety Derrick Martin, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us and fullback James Develin, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us who was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Nov. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us 28, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us but has yet to play.

Bolden: Return man

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

With 234 yards on 43 carries, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Bolden came into the Texans game with the second-most rushing yards for the Patriots, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us and his 5.4-yard average led the team. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Stevan Ridley has been the workhorse since Bolden was forced out, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us gaining 486 yards in the six games Bolden missed.

Bolden declined interview requests Saturday, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us the first time he had been spotted in the locker room since the suspension was announced. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us But he was ready to talk after the game, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us in which he played on special teams and got two late carries for 11 yards.

“Felt good, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us” Bolden said. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us “Missing four weeks, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us you try not to get out of shape, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us you keep yourself active, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us it felt good getting out there for the first time.”

As for the suspension?

“It was a mistake. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Saddened that it happened, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us but the team kept going, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us so just got to keep moving forward, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us” Bolden said. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us “Worked as hard as I could for as long as I could, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us 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 k 9 slim down dogs in us The last team to force at least one turnover in every regular-season game was the 2010 Atlanta Falcons.

With the interception, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us one behind the Chicago Bears. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.

“We know we have a good defense here, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us we’ve played really well the last couple of weeks, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us” McCourty said. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us “The biggest focus for us is just trying to build on that.”

Even when the Patriots fumbled the bounces went their way. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Ridley lost the ball on the Patriots’ first drive of the game, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us inside the Texans’ 5-yard-line, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us but Aaron Hernandez jumped on it to extend the drive. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us On the next play, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Hernandez caught a 7-yard touchdown pass.



Early in the fourth quarter, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Woodhead fumbled after catching a screen pass and being hit from behind by J.J. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Watt. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us The ball flew into the end zone, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us 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 k 9 slim down dogs in us Ohio, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us and visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Canton is coming to you this week. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Well, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us at least it’s coming to Foxborough. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us In recognition of the Hall of Fame’s 50th anniversary, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us the busts of the five former Patriots who have been enshrined — John Hannah, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Andre Tippett, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Nick Buoniconti, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Mike Haynes, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us 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 k 9 slim down dogs in us with Tippett, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Haynes, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us and Martin serving as honorary captains.

Secondary injuries

One downside to the Patriots’ victory was injuries to the defensive secondary. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us The Patriots announced injuries to Aqib Talib (hip) and Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring). Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Neither returned to the game after getting injured . Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us . Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us . Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us With Julian Edelman out for the season with a foot injury, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Wes Welker took over the Patriots’ punt return duties. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us He returned four for 50 yards, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us with a long of 31 . Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us . Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us . Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Welker also caught three passes, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us pushing his streak of consecutive regular-season games with a catch to 107 . Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us . Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us . Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Donte Stallworth made the most of his return to the Patriots. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us He caught only one pass from Brady, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us but the catch-and-run went for 63 yards and a touchdown in the third quarter, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us making it 28-0. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us It was a case of practice makes perfect, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us even if the practice had been a while ago. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us “That particular play is something we had worked on, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us even in the spring, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us’’ he said. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us “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 k 9 slim down dogs in us He put it up for me to catch it and that’s what I did.’’ . Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us . Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us . Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us His team off until Wednesday, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Celtics coach Doc Rivers was spotted on the sideline observing pregame warmups, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us wearing a Patriots red sweater and chatting up his Patriots counterpart, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Bill Belichick. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Also in on the conversation: Boston sports fan Mark Wahlberg. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo was also at the game, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us wearing a No. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us 83 Patriots jersey . Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us . Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us . Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us The Patriots extended their December winning streak to 13 games, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us dating to a 22-21 loss at Miami on Dec. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us 6, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us 2009. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us It ties the Patriots for the second-longest such streak with the Dallas Cowboys, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us who accomplished the feat from 1968-72. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us The record belongs to the San Diego Chargers, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us winners of 18 straight from 2006-09. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us New England also has won 21 straight games in the second half of the regular season. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us The Patriots went 8-0 in the second half of 2010, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us 8-0 in 2011, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us and have won their first five this season. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us The last loss from the back half of the schedule came in the regular-season finale in 2009, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us when the Patriots lost at Houston, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us 34-27 … In a pre-game Twitter message, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us self-described Patriots fan Donald Trump posted, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us “Good Luck to Bob Kraft, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Tom Brady and Coach Bob Belichick tonight.” Needless to say, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us the Donald got plenty of unwanted attention for his fumble . Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us . Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us . Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Keep an eye out for Jerod Mayo on Tuesday. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us He’ll be joining Subway spokesman Jared Fogle during multiple appearances around town, buy k 9 slim down dogs in us thanking unassuming fans with a dozen acts of kindness.

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Buy k 9 slim down dogs in us Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.

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