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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

“That was definitely a scheme play, order cha de bugre cod” Lloyd said. Order cha de bugre cod “We worked hard on that all week, order cha de bugre cod and when the opportunity presented itself, order cha de bugre cod Coach [Josh] McDaniels called it at the right time and we were able to take advantage of it.”

Lloyd took advantage of his opportunities, order cha de bugre cod catching seven passes for 89 yards, order cha de bugre cod his second-highest total of the season.

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

“Just a screen pass, order cha de bugre cod we do our best to block downfield, order cha de bugre cod and unfortunately the ball popped out, order cha de bugre cod” Lloyd said. Order cha de bugre cod “But we were there to make the play.”

All lined up

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

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

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

Another key starter also returned from injury, order cha de bugre cod with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, order cha de bugre cod back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

“Felt good, order cha de bugre cod” Bolden said. Order cha de bugre cod “Missing four weeks, order cha de bugre cod you try not to get out of shape, order cha de bugre cod you keep yourself active, order cha de bugre cod it felt good getting out there for the first time.”

As for the suspension?

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

With the interception, order cha de bugre cod the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, order cha de bugre cod one behind the Chicago Bears. Order cha de bugre cod Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.

“We know we have a good defense here, order cha de bugre cod we’ve played really well the last couple of weeks, order cha de bugre cod” McCourty said. Order cha de bugre cod “The biggest focus for us is just trying to build on that.”

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Order cha de bugre cod Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.

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