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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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