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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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