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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

“That was definitely a scheme play, cozaar in canada” Lloyd said. Cozaar in canada “We worked hard on that all week, cozaar in canada and when the opportunity presented itself, cozaar in canada Coach [Josh] McDaniels called it at the right time and we were able to take advantage of it.”

Lloyd took advantage of his opportunities, cozaar in canada catching seven passes for 89 yards, cozaar in canada his second-highest total of the season.

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

“Just a screen pass, cozaar in canada we do our best to block downfield, cozaar in canada and unfortunately the ball popped out, cozaar in canada” Lloyd said. Cozaar in canada “But we were there to make the play.”

All lined up

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

For the first time in a month, cozaar in canada and just the sixth time this season, cozaar in canada the Patriots began the game with the five players who are designated by the team as its starters: Nate Solder at left tackle, cozaar in canada Logan Mankins at left guard, cozaar in canada Ryan Wendell at center, cozaar in canada Dan Connolly at right guard, cozaar in canada and Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle.

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

Another key starter also returned from injury, cozaar in canada with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, cozaar in canada back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski missed his third straight game with a broken forearm. Cozaar in canada The other inactive players were offensive linemen Nick McDonald and Markus Zusevics, cozaar in canada defensive linemen Jake Bequette and Ron Brace, cozaar in canada safety Derrick Martin, cozaar in canada and fullback James Develin, cozaar in canada who was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Nov. Cozaar in canada 28, cozaar in canada but has yet to play.

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

“Felt good, cozaar in canada” Bolden said. Cozaar in canada “Missing four weeks, cozaar in canada you try not to get out of shape, cozaar in canada you keep yourself active, cozaar in canada it felt good getting out there for the first time.”

As for the suspension?

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

With the interception, cozaar in canada the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, cozaar in canada one behind the Chicago Bears. Cozaar in canada Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Cozaar in canada Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.

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