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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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