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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

With the interception, vgx viagra the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, vgx viagra one behind the Chicago Bears. Vgx viagra Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.

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

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



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

Secondary injuries

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

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Vgx viagra Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.

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