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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

“That was definitely a scheme play, find alpha lipoic acid cod” Lloyd said. Find alpha lipoic acid cod “We worked hard on that all week, find alpha lipoic acid cod and when the opportunity presented itself, find alpha lipoic acid cod Coach [Josh] McDaniels called it at the right time and we were able to take advantage of it.”

Lloyd took advantage of his opportunities, find alpha lipoic acid cod catching seven passes for 89 yards, find alpha lipoic acid cod his second-highest total of the season.

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

“Just a screen pass, find alpha lipoic acid cod we do our best to block downfield, find alpha lipoic acid cod and unfortunately the ball popped out, find alpha lipoic acid cod” Lloyd said. Find alpha lipoic acid cod “But we were there to make the play.”

All lined up

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

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

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

Another key starter also returned from injury, find alpha lipoic acid cod with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, find alpha lipoic acid cod back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

“Felt good, find alpha lipoic acid cod” Bolden said. Find alpha lipoic acid cod “Missing four weeks, find alpha lipoic acid cod you try not to get out of shape, find alpha lipoic acid cod you keep yourself active, find alpha lipoic acid cod it felt good getting out there for the first time.”

As for the suspension?

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

With the interception, find alpha lipoic acid cod the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, find alpha lipoic acid cod one behind the Chicago Bears. Find alpha lipoic acid cod Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.

“We know we have a good defense here, find alpha lipoic acid cod we’ve played really well the last couple of weeks, find alpha lipoic acid cod” McCourty said. Find alpha lipoic acid cod “The biggest focus for us is just trying to build on that.”

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Find alpha lipoic acid cod Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.

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