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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

FOXBOROUGH — They might not have come right out and said it, coq10 free sample 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, coq10 free sample receiver Brandon Lloyd never broke stride, coq10 free sample blowing past the Texans who bit on the run possibility. Coq10 free sample He caught Brady’s pass without a defender near him, coq10 free sample coasting into the end zone and pushing the Patriots’ lead to 14-0 in a game they would win handily, coq10 free sample 42-14, coq10 free sample Monday night at Gillette Stadium.

“That was definitely a scheme play, coq10 free sample” Lloyd said. Coq10 free sample “We worked hard on that all week, coq10 free sample and when the opportunity presented itself, coq10 free sample Coach [Josh] McDaniels called it at the right time and we were able to take advantage of it.”

Lloyd took advantage of his opportunities, coq10 free sample catching seven passes for 89 yards, coq10 free sample his second-highest total of the season.

He scored two touchdowns, coq10 free sample the second coming on a fumble recovery in the end zone, coq10 free sample after Danny Woodhead lost the ball on a screen pass. Coq10 free sample The ball bounced forward, coq10 free sample with Lloyd diving on it. Coq10 free sample Not how it’s drawn up, coq10 free sample but the way the night went.

“Just a screen pass, coq10 free sample we do our best to block downfield, coq10 free sample and unfortunately the ball popped out, coq10 free sample” Lloyd said. Coq10 free sample “But we were there to make the play.”

All lined up

Since the start of the season, coq10 free sample the Patriots’ depth chart on the offensive line read more like a wish list than a realistic starting lineup, coq10 free sample with an assortment of injuries resulting in five different combinations.

For the first time in a month, coq10 free sample and just the sixth time this season, coq10 free sample the Patriots began the game with the five players who are designated by the team as its starters: Nate Solder at left tackle, coq10 free sample Logan Mankins at left guard, coq10 free sample Ryan Wendell at center, coq10 free sample Dan Connolly at right guard, coq10 free sample and Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle.

The group was made whole again with the return of Mankins, coq10 free sample who had missed three consecutive games — and five of six — with ankle and calf injuries. Coq10 free sample He was back at practice last week, coq10 free sample in a limited role, coq10 free sample but was in the starting lineup Monday night, coq10 free sample relegating Donald Thomas to reserve status.

Another key starter also returned from injury, coq10 free sample with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, coq10 free sample back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski missed his third straight game with a broken forearm. Coq10 free sample The other inactive players were offensive linemen Nick McDonald and Markus Zusevics, coq10 free sample defensive linemen Jake Bequette and Ron Brace, coq10 free sample safety Derrick Martin, coq10 free sample and fullback James Develin, coq10 free sample who was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Nov. Coq10 free sample 28, coq10 free sample but has yet to play.

Bolden: Return man

The Patriots made the expected move official roughly three hours before kickoff, coq10 free sample 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, coq10 free sample a rookie from Mississippi, coq10 free sample was suspended by the NFL on Nov. Coq10 free sample 9 for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Coq10 free sample He hadn’t played since Oct. Coq10 free sample 14 at Seattle, coq10 free sample when he injured a knee against the Seahawks. Coq10 free sample The injury cost him two games, coq10 free sample then the suspension added four more.

With 234 yards on 43 carries, coq10 free sample Bolden came into the Texans game with the second-most rushing yards for the Patriots, coq10 free sample and his 5.4-yard average led the team. Coq10 free sample Stevan Ridley has been the workhorse since Bolden was forced out, coq10 free sample gaining 486 yards in the six games Bolden missed.

Bolden declined interview requests Saturday, coq10 free sample the first time he had been spotted in the locker room since the suspension was announced. Coq10 free sample But he was ready to talk after the game, coq10 free sample in which he played on special teams and got two late carries for 11 yards.

“Felt good, coq10 free sample” Bolden said. Coq10 free sample “Missing four weeks, coq10 free sample you try not to get out of shape, coq10 free sample you keep yourself active, coq10 free sample it felt good getting out there for the first time.”

As for the suspension?

“It was a mistake. Coq10 free sample Saddened that it happened, coq10 free sample but the team kept going, coq10 free sample so just got to keep moving forward, coq10 free sample” Bolden said. Coq10 free sample “Worked as hard as I could for as long as I could, coq10 free sample 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. Coq10 free sample The last team to force at least one turnover in every regular-season game was the 2010 Atlanta Falcons.

With the interception, coq10 free sample the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, coq10 free sample one behind the Chicago Bears. Coq10 free sample Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.

“We know we have a good defense here, coq10 free sample we’ve played really well the last couple of weeks, coq10 free sample” McCourty said. Coq10 free sample “The biggest focus for us is just trying to build on that.”

Even when the Patriots fumbled the bounces went their way. Coq10 free sample Ridley lost the ball on the Patriots’ first drive of the game, coq10 free sample inside the Texans’ 5-yard-line, coq10 free sample but Aaron Hernandez jumped on it to extend the drive. Coq10 free sample On the next play, coq10 free sample Hernandez caught a 7-yard touchdown pass.

Early in the fourth quarter, coq10 free sample Woodhead fumbled after catching a screen pass and being hit from behind by J.J. Coq10 free sample Watt. Coq10 free sample The ball flew into the end zone, coq10 free sample 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, coq10 free sample Ohio, coq10 free sample and visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame, coq10 free sample Canton is coming to you this week. Coq10 free sample Well, coq10 free sample at least it’s coming to Foxborough. Coq10 free sample In recognition of the Hall of Fame’s 50th anniversary, coq10 free sample the busts of the five former Patriots who have been enshrined — John Hannah, coq10 free sample Andre Tippett, coq10 free sample Nick Buoniconti, coq10 free sample Mike Haynes, coq10 free sample 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, coq10 free sample with Tippett, coq10 free sample Haynes, coq10 free sample and Martin serving as honorary captains.

Secondary injuries

One downside to the Patriots’ victory was injuries to the defensive secondary. Coq10 free sample The Patriots announced injuries to Aqib Talib (hip) and Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring). Coq10 free sample Neither returned to the game after getting injured . Coq10 free sample . Coq10 free sample . Coq10 free sample With Julian Edelman out for the season with a foot injury, coq10 free sample Wes Welker took over the Patriots’ punt return duties. Coq10 free sample He returned four for 50 yards, coq10 free sample with a long of 31 . Coq10 free sample . Coq10 free sample . Coq10 free sample Welker also caught three passes, coq10 free sample pushing his streak of consecutive regular-season games with a catch to 107 . Coq10 free sample . Coq10 free sample . Coq10 free sample Donte Stallworth made the most of his return to the Patriots. Coq10 free sample He caught only one pass from Brady, coq10 free sample but the catch-and-run went for 63 yards and a touchdown in the third quarter, coq10 free sample making it 28-0. Coq10 free sample It was a case of practice makes perfect, coq10 free sample even if the practice had been a while ago. Coq10 free sample “That particular play is something we had worked on, coq10 free sample even in the spring, coq10 free sample’’ he said. Coq10 free sample “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. Coq10 free sample He put it up for me to catch it and that’s what I did.’’ . Coq10 free sample . Coq10 free sample . Coq10 free sample His team off until Wednesday, coq10 free sample Celtics coach Doc Rivers was spotted on the sideline observing pregame warmups, coq10 free sample wearing a Patriots red sweater and chatting up his Patriots counterpart, coq10 free sample Bill Belichick. Coq10 free sample Also in on the conversation: Boston sports fan Mark Wahlberg. Coq10 free sample Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo was also at the game, coq10 free sample wearing a No. Coq10 free sample 83 Patriots jersey . Coq10 free sample . Coq10 free sample . Coq10 free sample The Patriots extended their December winning streak to 13 games, coq10 free sample dating to a 22-21 loss at Miami on Dec. Coq10 free sample 6, coq10 free sample 2009. Coq10 free sample It ties the Patriots for the second-longest such streak with the Dallas Cowboys, coq10 free sample who accomplished the feat from 1968-72. Coq10 free sample The record belongs to the San Diego Chargers, coq10 free sample winners of 18 straight from 2006-09. Coq10 free sample New England also has won 21 straight games in the second half of the regular season. Coq10 free sample The Patriots went 8-0 in the second half of 2010, coq10 free sample 8-0 in 2011, coq10 free sample and have won their first five this season. Coq10 free sample The last loss from the back half of the schedule came in the regular-season finale in 2009, coq10 free sample when the Patriots lost at Houston, coq10 free sample 34-27 … In a pre-game Twitter message, coq10 free sample self-described Patriots fan Donald Trump posted, coq10 free sample “Good Luck to Bob Kraft, coq10 free sample Tom Brady and Coach Bob Belichick tonight.” Needless to say, coq10 free sample the Donald got plenty of unwanted attention for his fumble . Coq10 free sample . Coq10 free sample . Coq10 free sample Keep an eye out for Jerod Mayo on Tuesday. Coq10 free sample He’ll be joining Subway spokesman Jared Fogle during multiple appearances around town, coq10 free sample thanking unassuming fans with a dozen acts of kindness.

Michael Whitmer can be reached at Coq10 free sample Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.