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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

Lloyd took advantage of his opportunities, vanadyl free delivery catching seven passes for 89 yards, vanadyl free delivery his second-highest total of the season.

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

“Just a screen pass, vanadyl free delivery we do our best to block downfield, vanadyl free delivery and unfortunately the ball popped out, vanadyl free delivery” Lloyd said. Vanadyl free delivery “But we were there to make the play.”

All lined up

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

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

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

Another key starter also returned from injury, vanadyl free delivery with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, vanadyl free delivery back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

“Felt good, vanadyl free delivery” Bolden said. Vanadyl free delivery “Missing four weeks, vanadyl free delivery you try not to get out of shape, vanadyl free delivery you keep yourself active, vanadyl free delivery it felt good getting out there for the first time.”

As for the suspension?

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

With the interception, vanadyl free delivery the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, vanadyl free delivery one behind the Chicago Bears. Vanadyl free delivery Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Vanadyl free delivery Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.

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