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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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