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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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