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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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