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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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