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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

FOXBOROUGH — They might not have come right out and said it, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs 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 no rx hip & joint chews large dogs receiver Brandon Lloyd never broke stride, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs blowing past the Texans who bit on the run possibility. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs He caught Brady’s pass without a defender near him, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs coasting into the end zone and pushing the Patriots’ lead to 14-0 in a game they would win handily, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs 42-14, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs Monday night at Gillette Stadium.

“That was definitely a scheme play, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs” Lloyd said. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs “We worked hard on that all week, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs and when the opportunity presented itself, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs 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 no rx hip & joint chews large dogs catching seven passes for 89 yards, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs his second-highest total of the season.

He scored two touchdowns, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs the second coming on a fumble recovery in the end zone, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs after Danny Woodhead lost the ball on a screen pass. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs The ball bounced forward, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs with Lloyd diving on it. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs Not how it’s drawn up, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs but the way the night went.

“Just a screen pass, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs we do our best to block downfield, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs and unfortunately the ball popped out, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs” Lloyd said. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs “But we were there to make the play.”

All lined up

Since the start of the season, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs the Patriots’ depth chart on the offensive line read more like a wish list than a realistic starting lineup, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs with an assortment of injuries resulting in five different combinations.

For the first time in a month, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs and just the sixth time this season, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs the Patriots began the game with the five players who are designated by the team as its starters: Nate Solder at left tackle, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs Logan Mankins at left guard, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs Ryan Wendell at center, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs Dan Connolly at right guard, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs and Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle.

The group was made whole again with the return of Mankins, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs who had missed three consecutive games — and five of six — with ankle and calf injuries. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs He was back at practice last week, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs in a limited role, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs but was in the starting lineup Monday night, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs relegating Donald Thomas to reserve status.

Another key starter also returned from injury, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski missed his third straight game with a broken forearm. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs The other inactive players were offensive linemen Nick McDonald and Markus Zusevics, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs defensive linemen Jake Bequette and Ron Brace, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs safety Derrick Martin, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs and fullback James Develin, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs who was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Nov. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs 28, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs but has yet to play.

Bolden: Return man

The Patriots made the expected move official roughly three hours before kickoff, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs 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 no rx hip & joint chews large dogs a rookie from Mississippi, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs was suspended by the NFL on Nov. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs 9 for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs He hadn’t played since Oct. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs 14 at Seattle, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs when he injured a knee against the Seahawks. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs The injury cost him two games, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs then the suspension added four more.

With 234 yards on 43 carries, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs Bolden came into the Texans game with the second-most rushing yards for the Patriots, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs and his 5.4-yard average led the team. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs Stevan Ridley has been the workhorse since Bolden was forced out, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs gaining 486 yards in the six games Bolden missed.

Bolden declined interview requests Saturday, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs the first time he had been spotted in the locker room since the suspension was announced. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs But he was ready to talk after the game, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs in which he played on special teams and got two late carries for 11 yards.

“Felt good, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs” Bolden said. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs “Missing four weeks, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs you try not to get out of shape, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs you keep yourself active, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs it felt good getting out there for the first time.”

As for the suspension?

“It was a mistake. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs Saddened that it happened, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs but the team kept going, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs so just got to keep moving forward, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs” Bolden said. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs “Worked as hard as I could for as long as I could, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs 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 no rx hip & joint chews large dogs The last team to force at least one turnover in every regular-season game was the 2010 Atlanta Falcons.

With the interception, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs one behind the Chicago Bears. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.

“We know we have a good defense here, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs we’ve played really well the last couple of weeks, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs” McCourty said. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs “The biggest focus for us is just trying to build on that.”

Even when the Patriots fumbled the bounces went their way. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs Ridley lost the ball on the Patriots’ first drive of the game, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs inside the Texans’ 5-yard-line, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs but Aaron Hernandez jumped on it to extend the drive. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs On the next play, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs Hernandez caught a 7-yard touchdown pass.



Early in the fourth quarter, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs Woodhead fumbled after catching a screen pass and being hit from behind by J.J. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs Watt. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs The ball flew into the end zone, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs 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 no rx hip & joint chews large dogs Ohio, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs and visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs Canton is coming to you this week. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs Well, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs at least it’s coming to Foxborough. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs In recognition of the Hall of Fame’s 50th anniversary, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs the busts of the five former Patriots who have been enshrined — John Hannah, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs Andre Tippett, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs Nick Buoniconti, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs Mike Haynes, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs 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 no rx hip & joint chews large dogs with Tippett, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs Haynes, find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs and Martin serving as honorary captains.

Secondary injuries

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

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Find no rx hip & joint chews large dogs Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.

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