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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

Another key starter also returned from injury, order cheap ed strips with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, order cheap ed strips back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

With the interception, order cheap ed strips the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, order cheap ed strips one behind the Chicago Bears. Order cheap ed strips Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Order cheap ed strips Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.

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