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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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