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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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