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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

“That was definitely a scheme play, calcium oxalate calculi” Lloyd said. Calcium oxalate calculi “We worked hard on that all week, calcium oxalate calculi and when the opportunity presented itself, calcium oxalate calculi Coach [Josh] McDaniels called it at the right time and we were able to take advantage of it.”

Lloyd took advantage of his opportunities, calcium oxalate calculi catching seven passes for 89 yards, calcium oxalate calculi his second-highest total of the season.

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

“Just a screen pass, calcium oxalate calculi we do our best to block downfield, calcium oxalate calculi and unfortunately the ball popped out, calcium oxalate calculi” Lloyd said. Calcium oxalate calculi “But we were there to make the play.”

All lined up

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

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

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

Another key starter also returned from injury, calcium oxalate calculi with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, calcium oxalate calculi back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

“Felt good, calcium oxalate calculi” Bolden said. Calcium oxalate calculi “Missing four weeks, calcium oxalate calculi you try not to get out of shape, calcium oxalate calculi you keep yourself active, calcium oxalate calculi it felt good getting out there for the first time.”

As for the suspension?

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

With the interception, calcium oxalate calculi the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, calcium oxalate calculi one behind the Chicago Bears. Calcium oxalate calculi Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Calcium oxalate calculi Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.

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