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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Order discount aceon online Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.

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