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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

Another key starter also returned from injury, cheap bcaa online with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, cheap bcaa online back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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