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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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