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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

For the first time in a month, order medithin online and just the sixth time this season, order medithin online the Patriots began the game with the five players who are designated by the team as its starters: Nate Solder at left tackle, order medithin online Logan Mankins at left guard, order medithin online Ryan Wendell at center, order medithin online Dan Connolly at right guard, order medithin online and Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle.

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

Another key starter also returned from injury, order medithin online with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, order medithin online back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski missed his third straight game with a broken forearm. Order medithin online The other inactive players were offensive linemen Nick McDonald and Markus Zusevics, order medithin online defensive linemen Jake Bequette and Ron Brace, order medithin online safety Derrick Martin, order medithin online and fullback James Develin, order medithin online who was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Nov. Order medithin online 28, order medithin online but has yet to play.

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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