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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

With the interception, probalan in canada the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, probalan in canada one behind the Chicago Bears. Probalan in canada Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.

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

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

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

Secondary injuries

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

Michael Whitmer can be reached at Probalan in canada Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.