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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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