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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

Another key starter also returned from injury, discount aleve online with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, discount aleve online back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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