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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

Another key starter also returned from injury, buy levlen online with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, buy levlen online back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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