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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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