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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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