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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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