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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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