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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Discount calming formula cats Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.

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