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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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