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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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