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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Order discount digestive support cats Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.

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