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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

Lloyd took advantage of his opportunities, cefadroxil free delivery catching seven passes for 89 yards, cefadroxil free delivery his second-highest total of the season.

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

“Just a screen pass, cefadroxil free delivery we do our best to block downfield, cefadroxil free delivery and unfortunately the ball popped out, cefadroxil free delivery” Lloyd said. Cefadroxil free delivery “But we were there to make the play.”

All lined up

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

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

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

Another key starter also returned from injury, cefadroxil free delivery with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, cefadroxil free delivery back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

“Felt good, cefadroxil free delivery” Bolden said. Cefadroxil free delivery “Missing four weeks, cefadroxil free delivery you try not to get out of shape, cefadroxil free delivery you keep yourself active, cefadroxil free delivery it felt good getting out there for the first time.”

As for the suspension?

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

With the interception, cefadroxil free delivery the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, cefadroxil free delivery one behind the Chicago Bears. Cefadroxil free delivery Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Cefadroxil free delivery Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.

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