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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

For the first time in a month, find glycemil cod and just the sixth time this season, find glycemil cod the Patriots began the game with the five players who are designated by the team as its starters: Nate Solder at left tackle, find glycemil cod Logan Mankins at left guard, find glycemil cod Ryan Wendell at center, find glycemil cod Dan Connolly at right guard, find glycemil cod and Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle.

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

Another key starter also returned from injury, find glycemil cod with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, find glycemil cod back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski missed his third straight game with a broken forearm. Find glycemil cod The other inactive players were offensive linemen Nick McDonald and Markus Zusevics, find glycemil cod defensive linemen Jake Bequette and Ron Brace, find glycemil cod safety Derrick Martin, find glycemil cod and fullback James Develin, find glycemil cod who was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Nov. Find glycemil cod 28, find glycemil cod but has yet to play.

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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