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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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