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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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