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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

“It was a mistake. Buy keftab in us Saddened that it happened, buy keftab in us but the team kept going, buy keftab in us so just got to keep moving forward, buy keftab in us” Bolden said. Buy keftab in us “Worked as hard as I could for as long as I could, buy keftab 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 keftab 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 keftab in us the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, buy keftab in us one behind the Chicago Bears. Buy keftab in us Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.

“We know we have a good defense here, buy keftab in us we’ve played really well the last couple of weeks, buy keftab in us” McCourty said. Buy keftab 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 keftab in us Ridley lost the ball on the Patriots’ first drive of the game, buy keftab in us inside the Texans’ 5-yard-line, buy keftab in us but Aaron Hernandez jumped on it to extend the drive. Buy keftab in us On the next play, buy keftab in us Hernandez caught a 7-yard touchdown pass.



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

Secondary injuries

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

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Buy keftab 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