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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

With the interception, find precose cod the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, find precose cod one behind the Chicago Bears. Find precose cod Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.

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

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

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

Secondary injuries

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

Michael Whitmer can be reached at Find precose cod Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.