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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Find home cholesterol test Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.

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