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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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