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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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