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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

Another key starter also returned from injury, buy kick smoking patch in canada with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, buy kick smoking patch in canada back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

With the interception, buy kick smoking patch in canada the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, buy kick smoking patch in canada one behind the Chicago Bears. Buy kick smoking patch in canada Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Buy kick smoking patch in canada Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.

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