No Rx Vein Support

By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

FOXBOROUGH — They might not have come right out and said it, no rx vein support 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, no rx vein support receiver Brandon Lloyd never broke stride, no rx vein support blowing past the Texans who bit on the run possibility. No rx vein support He caught Brady’s pass without a defender near him, no rx vein support coasting into the end zone and pushing the Patriots’ lead to 14-0 in a game they would win handily, no rx vein support 42-14, no rx vein support Monday night at Gillette Stadium.

“That was definitely a scheme play, no rx vein support” Lloyd said. No rx vein support “We worked hard on that all week, no rx vein support and when the opportunity presented itself, no rx vein support Coach [Josh] McDaniels called it at the right time and we were able to take advantage of it.”

Lloyd took advantage of his opportunities, no rx vein support catching seven passes for 89 yards, no rx vein support his second-highest total of the season.

He scored two touchdowns, no rx vein support the second coming on a fumble recovery in the end zone, no rx vein support after Danny Woodhead lost the ball on a screen pass. No rx vein support The ball bounced forward, no rx vein support with Lloyd diving on it. No rx vein support Not how it’s drawn up, no rx vein support but the way the night went.

“Just a screen pass, no rx vein support we do our best to block downfield, no rx vein support and unfortunately the ball popped out, no rx vein support” Lloyd said. No rx vein support “But we were there to make the play.”

All lined up

Since the start of the season, no rx vein support the Patriots’ depth chart on the offensive line read more like a wish list than a realistic starting lineup, no rx vein support with an assortment of injuries resulting in five different combinations.

For the first time in a month, no rx vein support and just the sixth time this season, no rx vein support the Patriots began the game with the five players who are designated by the team as its starters: Nate Solder at left tackle, no rx vein support Logan Mankins at left guard, no rx vein support Ryan Wendell at center, no rx vein support Dan Connolly at right guard, no rx vein support and Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle.

The group was made whole again with the return of Mankins, no rx vein support who had missed three consecutive games — and five of six — with ankle and calf injuries. No rx vein support He was back at practice last week, no rx vein support in a limited role, no rx vein support but was in the starting lineup Monday night, no rx vein support relegating Donald Thomas to reserve status.

Another key starter also returned from injury, no rx vein support with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, no rx vein support back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski missed his third straight game with a broken forearm. No rx vein support The other inactive players were offensive linemen Nick McDonald and Markus Zusevics, no rx vein support defensive linemen Jake Bequette and Ron Brace, no rx vein support safety Derrick Martin, no rx vein support and fullback James Develin, no rx vein support who was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Nov. No rx vein support 28, no rx vein support but has yet to play.

Bolden: Return man

The Patriots made the expected move official roughly three hours before kickoff, no rx vein support 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, no rx vein support a rookie from Mississippi, no rx vein support was suspended by the NFL on Nov. No rx vein support 9 for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. No rx vein support He hadn’t played since Oct. No rx vein support 14 at Seattle, no rx vein support when he injured a knee against the Seahawks. No rx vein support The injury cost him two games, no rx vein support then the suspension added four more.

With 234 yards on 43 carries, no rx vein support Bolden came into the Texans game with the second-most rushing yards for the Patriots, no rx vein support and his 5.4-yard average led the team. No rx vein support Stevan Ridley has been the workhorse since Bolden was forced out, no rx vein support gaining 486 yards in the six games Bolden missed.

Bolden declined interview requests Saturday, no rx vein support the first time he had been spotted in the locker room since the suspension was announced. No rx vein support But he was ready to talk after the game, no rx vein support in which he played on special teams and got two late carries for 11 yards.

“Felt good, no rx vein support” Bolden said. No rx vein support “Missing four weeks, no rx vein support you try not to get out of shape, no rx vein support you keep yourself active, no rx vein support it felt good getting out there for the first time.”

As for the suspension?

“It was a mistake. No rx vein support Saddened that it happened, no rx vein support but the team kept going, no rx vein support so just got to keep moving forward, no rx vein support” Bolden said. No rx vein support “Worked as hard as I could for as long as I could, no rx vein support 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. No rx vein support The last team to force at least one turnover in every regular-season game was the 2010 Atlanta Falcons.

With the interception, no rx vein support the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, no rx vein support one behind the Chicago Bears. No rx vein support Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.

“We know we have a good defense here, no rx vein support we’ve played really well the last couple of weeks, no rx vein support” McCourty said. No rx vein support “The biggest focus for us is just trying to build on that.”

Even when the Patriots fumbled the bounces went their way. No rx vein support Ridley lost the ball on the Patriots’ first drive of the game, no rx vein support inside the Texans’ 5-yard-line, no rx vein support but Aaron Hernandez jumped on it to extend the drive. No rx vein support On the next play, no rx vein support Hernandez caught a 7-yard touchdown pass.



Early in the fourth quarter, no rx vein support Woodhead fumbled after catching a screen pass and being hit from behind by J.J. No rx vein support Watt. No rx vein support The ball flew into the end zone, no rx vein support 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, no rx vein support Ohio, no rx vein support and visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame, no rx vein support Canton is coming to you this week. No rx vein support Well, no rx vein support at least it’s coming to Foxborough. No rx vein support In recognition of the Hall of Fame’s 50th anniversary, no rx vein support the busts of the five former Patriots who have been enshrined — John Hannah, no rx vein support Andre Tippett, no rx vein support Nick Buoniconti, no rx vein support Mike Haynes, no rx vein support 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, no rx vein support with Tippett, no rx vein support Haynes, no rx vein support and Martin serving as honorary captains.

Secondary injuries

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

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. No rx vein support Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.

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