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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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