Relafen Online Review

By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

“That was definitely a scheme play, relafen online review” Lloyd said. Relafen online review “We worked hard on that all week, relafen online review and when the opportunity presented itself, relafen online review Coach [Josh] McDaniels called it at the right time and we were able to take advantage of it.”

Lloyd took advantage of his opportunities, relafen online review catching seven passes for 89 yards, relafen online review his second-highest total of the season.

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

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

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