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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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