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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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

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

Secondary injuries

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

Michael Whitmer can be reached at Discount metabo safe Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.