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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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