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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

“That was definitely a scheme play, free hoodia weight loss gum” Lloyd said. Free hoodia weight loss gum “We worked hard on that all week, free hoodia weight loss gum and when the opportunity presented itself, free hoodia weight loss gum Coach [Josh] McDaniels called it at the right time and we were able to take advantage of it.”

Lloyd took advantage of his opportunities, free hoodia weight loss gum catching seven passes for 89 yards, free hoodia weight loss gum his second-highest total of the season.

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

“Just a screen pass, free hoodia weight loss gum we do our best to block downfield, free hoodia weight loss gum and unfortunately the ball popped out, free hoodia weight loss gum” Lloyd said. Free hoodia weight loss gum “But we were there to make the play.”

All lined up

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

For the first time in a month, free hoodia weight loss gum and just the sixth time this season, free hoodia weight loss gum the Patriots began the game with the five players who are designated by the team as its starters: Nate Solder at left tackle, free hoodia weight loss gum Logan Mankins at left guard, free hoodia weight loss gum Ryan Wendell at center, free hoodia weight loss gum Dan Connolly at right guard, free hoodia weight loss gum and Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle.

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

Another key starter also returned from injury, free hoodia weight loss gum with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, free hoodia weight loss gum back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski missed his third straight game with a broken forearm. Free hoodia weight loss gum The other inactive players were offensive linemen Nick McDonald and Markus Zusevics, free hoodia weight loss gum defensive linemen Jake Bequette and Ron Brace, free hoodia weight loss gum safety Derrick Martin, free hoodia weight loss gum and fullback James Develin, free hoodia weight loss gum who was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Nov. Free hoodia weight loss gum 28, free hoodia weight loss gum but has yet to play.

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

“Felt good, free hoodia weight loss gum” Bolden said. Free hoodia weight loss gum “Missing four weeks, free hoodia weight loss gum you try not to get out of shape, free hoodia weight loss gum you keep yourself active, free hoodia weight loss gum it felt good getting out there for the first time.”

As for the suspension?

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

With the interception, free hoodia weight loss gum the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, free hoodia weight loss gum one behind the Chicago Bears. Free hoodia weight loss gum Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.

“We know we have a good defense here, free hoodia weight loss gum we’ve played really well the last couple of weeks, free hoodia weight loss gum” McCourty said. Free hoodia weight loss gum “The biggest focus for us is just trying to build on that.”

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Free hoodia weight loss gum Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.

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