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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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