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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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