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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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