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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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