Geodon Online Review

By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

For the first time in a month, geodon online review and just the sixth time this season, geodon 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, geodon online review Logan Mankins at left guard, geodon online review Ryan Wendell at center, geodon online review Dan Connolly at right guard, geodon online review and Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle.

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

Another key starter also returned from injury, geodon online review with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, geodon 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. Geodon online review The other inactive players were offensive linemen Nick McDonald and Markus Zusevics, geodon online review defensive linemen Jake Bequette and Ron Brace, geodon online review safety Derrick Martin, geodon online review and fullback James Develin, geodon online review who was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Nov. Geodon online review 28, geodon online review but has yet to play.

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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

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

Secondary injuries

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

Michael Whitmer can be reached at Geodon online review Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.