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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

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

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

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

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

All lined up

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

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

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

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

Bolden: Return man

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

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

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

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

As for the suspension?

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

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

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

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

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

Secondary injuries

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

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