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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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