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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

FOXBOROUGH — They might not have come right out and said it, order no rx diovan 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 no rx diovan receiver Brandon Lloyd never broke stride, order no rx diovan blowing past the Texans who bit on the run possibility. Order no rx diovan He caught Brady’s pass without a defender near him, order no rx diovan coasting into the end zone and pushing the Patriots’ lead to 14-0 in a game they would win handily, order no rx diovan 42-14, order no rx diovan Monday night at Gillette Stadium.

“That was definitely a scheme play, order no rx diovan” Lloyd said. Order no rx diovan “We worked hard on that all week, order no rx diovan and when the opportunity presented itself, order no rx diovan 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 no rx diovan catching seven passes for 89 yards, order no rx diovan his second-highest total of the season.

He scored two touchdowns, order no rx diovan the second coming on a fumble recovery in the end zone, order no rx diovan after Danny Woodhead lost the ball on a screen pass. Order no rx diovan The ball bounced forward, order no rx diovan with Lloyd diving on it. Order no rx diovan Not how it’s drawn up, order no rx diovan but the way the night went.

“Just a screen pass, order no rx diovan we do our best to block downfield, order no rx diovan and unfortunately the ball popped out, order no rx diovan” Lloyd said. Order no rx diovan “But we were there to make the play.”

All lined up

Since the start of the season, order no rx diovan the Patriots’ depth chart on the offensive line read more like a wish list than a realistic starting lineup, order no rx diovan with an assortment of injuries resulting in five different combinations.

For the first time in a month, order no rx diovan and just the sixth time this season, order no rx diovan the Patriots began the game with the five players who are designated by the team as its starters: Nate Solder at left tackle, order no rx diovan Logan Mankins at left guard, order no rx diovan Ryan Wendell at center, order no rx diovan Dan Connolly at right guard, order no rx diovan and Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle.

The group was made whole again with the return of Mankins, order no rx diovan who had missed three consecutive games — and five of six — with ankle and calf injuries. Order no rx diovan He was back at practice last week, order no rx diovan in a limited role, order no rx diovan but was in the starting lineup Monday night, order no rx diovan relegating Donald Thomas to reserve status.

Another key starter also returned from injury, order no rx diovan with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, order no rx diovan back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski missed his third straight game with a broken forearm. Order no rx diovan The other inactive players were offensive linemen Nick McDonald and Markus Zusevics, order no rx diovan defensive linemen Jake Bequette and Ron Brace, order no rx diovan safety Derrick Martin, order no rx diovan and fullback James Develin, order no rx diovan who was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Nov. Order no rx diovan 28, order no rx diovan but has yet to play.

Bolden: Return man

The Patriots made the expected move official roughly three hours before kickoff, order no rx diovan 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 no rx diovan a rookie from Mississippi, order no rx diovan was suspended by the NFL on Nov. Order no rx diovan 9 for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Order no rx diovan He hadn’t played since Oct. Order no rx diovan 14 at Seattle, order no rx diovan when he injured a knee against the Seahawks. Order no rx diovan The injury cost him two games, order no rx diovan then the suspension added four more.

With 234 yards on 43 carries, order no rx diovan Bolden came into the Texans game with the second-most rushing yards for the Patriots, order no rx diovan and his 5.4-yard average led the team. Order no rx diovan Stevan Ridley has been the workhorse since Bolden was forced out, order no rx diovan gaining 486 yards in the six games Bolden missed.

Bolden declined interview requests Saturday, order no rx diovan the first time he had been spotted in the locker room since the suspension was announced. Order no rx diovan But he was ready to talk after the game, order no rx diovan in which he played on special teams and got two late carries for 11 yards.

“Felt good, order no rx diovan” Bolden said. Order no rx diovan “Missing four weeks, order no rx diovan you try not to get out of shape, order no rx diovan you keep yourself active, order no rx diovan it felt good getting out there for the first time.”

As for the suspension?

“It was a mistake. Order no rx diovan Saddened that it happened, order no rx diovan but the team kept going, order no rx diovan so just got to keep moving forward, order no rx diovan” Bolden said. Order no rx diovan “Worked as hard as I could for as long as I could, order no rx diovan 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 no rx diovan The last team to force at least one turnover in every regular-season game was the 2010 Atlanta Falcons.

With the interception, order no rx diovan the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, order no rx diovan one behind the Chicago Bears. Order no rx diovan Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.

“We know we have a good defense here, order no rx diovan we’ve played really well the last couple of weeks, order no rx diovan” McCourty said. Order no rx diovan “The biggest focus for us is just trying to build on that.”

Even when the Patriots fumbled the bounces went their way. Order no rx diovan Ridley lost the ball on the Patriots’ first drive of the game, order no rx diovan inside the Texans’ 5-yard-line, order no rx diovan but Aaron Hernandez jumped on it to extend the drive. Order no rx diovan On the next play, order no rx diovan Hernandez caught a 7-yard touchdown pass.



Early in the fourth quarter, order no rx diovan Woodhead fumbled after catching a screen pass and being hit from behind by J.J. Order no rx diovan Watt. Order no rx diovan The ball flew into the end zone, order no rx diovan 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 no rx diovan Ohio, order no rx diovan and visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame, order no rx diovan Canton is coming to you this week. Order no rx diovan Well, order no rx diovan at least it’s coming to Foxborough. Order no rx diovan In recognition of the Hall of Fame’s 50th anniversary, order no rx diovan the busts of the five former Patriots who have been enshrined — John Hannah, order no rx diovan Andre Tippett, order no rx diovan Nick Buoniconti, order no rx diovan Mike Haynes, order no rx diovan 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 no rx diovan with Tippett, order no rx diovan Haynes, order no rx diovan and Martin serving as honorary captains.

Secondary injuries

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

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Order no rx diovan Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.

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