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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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