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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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