Zovirax In Us
By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff
FOXBOROUGH — They might not have come right out and said it, zovirax in us 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, zovirax in us receiver Brandon Lloyd never broke stride, zovirax in us blowing past the Texans who bit on the run possibility. Zovirax in us He caught Brady’s pass without a defender near him, zovirax in us coasting into the end zone and pushing the Patriots’ lead to 14-0 in a game they would win handily, zovirax in us 42-14, zovirax in us Monday night at Gillette Stadium.
“That was definitely a scheme play, zovirax in us” Lloyd said. Zovirax in us “We worked hard on that all week, zovirax in us and when the opportunity presented itself, zovirax in us Coach [Josh] McDaniels called it at the right time and we were able to take advantage of it.”
Lloyd took advantage of his opportunities, zovirax in us catching seven passes for 89 yards, zovirax in us his second-highest total of the season.
He scored two touchdowns, zovirax in us the second coming on a fumble recovery in the end zone, zovirax in us after Danny Woodhead lost the ball on a screen pass. Zovirax in us The ball bounced forward, zovirax in us with Lloyd diving on it. Zovirax in us Not how it’s drawn up, zovirax in us but the way the night went.
“Just a screen pass, zovirax in us we do our best to block downfield, zovirax in us and unfortunately the ball popped out, zovirax in us” Lloyd said. Zovirax in us “But we were there to make the play.”
All lined up
Since the start of the season, zovirax in us the Patriots’ depth chart on the offensive line read more like a wish list than a realistic starting lineup, zovirax in us with an assortment of injuries resulting in five different combinations.
For the first time in a month, zovirax in us and just the sixth time this season, zovirax in us the Patriots began the game with the five players who are designated by the team as its starters: Nate Solder at left tackle, zovirax in us Logan Mankins at left guard, zovirax in us Ryan Wendell at center, zovirax in us Dan Connolly at right guard, zovirax in us and Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle.
The group was made whole again with the return of Mankins, zovirax in us who had missed three consecutive games — and five of six — with ankle and calf injuries. Zovirax in us He was back at practice last week, zovirax in us in a limited role, zovirax in us but was in the starting lineup Monday night, zovirax in us relegating Donald Thomas to reserve status.
Another key starter also returned from injury, zovirax in us with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, zovirax in us back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski missed his third straight game with a broken forearm. Zovirax in us The other inactive players were offensive linemen Nick McDonald and Markus Zusevics, zovirax in us defensive linemen Jake Bequette and Ron Brace, zovirax in us safety Derrick Martin, zovirax in us and fullback James Develin, zovirax in us who was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Nov. Zovirax in us 28, zovirax in us but has yet to play.
Bolden: Return man
The Patriots made the expected move official roughly three hours before kickoff, zovirax in us 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, zovirax in us a rookie from Mississippi, zovirax in us was suspended by the NFL on Nov. Zovirax in us 9 for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Zovirax in us He hadn’t played since Oct. Zovirax in us 14 at Seattle, zovirax in us when he injured a knee against the Seahawks. Zovirax in us The injury cost him two games, zovirax in us then the suspension added four more.
With 234 yards on 43 carries, zovirax in us Bolden came into the Texans game with the second-most rushing yards for the Patriots, zovirax in us and his 5.4-yard average led the team. Zovirax in us Stevan Ridley has been the workhorse since Bolden was forced out, zovirax in us gaining 486 yards in the six games Bolden missed.
Bolden declined interview requests Saturday, zovirax in us the first time he had been spotted in the locker room since the suspension was announced. Zovirax in us But he was ready to talk after the game, zovirax in us in which he played on special teams and got two late carries for 11 yards.
“Felt good, zovirax in us” Bolden said. Zovirax in us “Missing four weeks, zovirax in us you try not to get out of shape, zovirax in us you keep yourself active, zovirax in us it felt good getting out there for the first time.”
As for the suspension?
“It was a mistake. Zovirax in us Saddened that it happened, zovirax in us but the team kept going, zovirax in us so just got to keep moving forward, zovirax in us” Bolden said. Zovirax in us “Worked as hard as I could for as long as I could, zovirax in us 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. Zovirax in us The last team to force at least one turnover in every regular-season game was the 2010 Atlanta Falcons.
With the interception, zovirax in us the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, zovirax in us one behind the Chicago Bears. Zovirax in us Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.
“We know we have a good defense here, zovirax in us we’ve played really well the last couple of weeks, zovirax in us” McCourty said. Zovirax in us “The biggest focus for us is just trying to build on that.”
Even when the Patriots fumbled the bounces went their way. Zovirax in us Ridley lost the ball on the Patriots’ first drive of the game, zovirax in us inside the Texans’ 5-yard-line, zovirax in us but Aaron Hernandez jumped on it to extend the drive. Zovirax in us On the next play, zovirax in us Hernandez caught a 7-yard touchdown pass.
Early in the fourth quarter, zovirax in us Woodhead fumbled after catching a screen pass and being hit from behind by J.J. Zovirax in us Watt. Zovirax in us The ball flew into the end zone, zovirax in us 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, zovirax in us Ohio, zovirax in us and visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame, zovirax in us Canton is coming to you this week. Zovirax in us Well, zovirax in us at least it’s coming to Foxborough. Zovirax in us In recognition of the Hall of Fame’s 50th anniversary, zovirax in us the busts of the five former Patriots who have been enshrined — John Hannah, zovirax in us Andre Tippett, zovirax in us Nick Buoniconti, zovirax in us Mike Haynes, zovirax in us 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, zovirax in us with Tippett, zovirax in us Haynes, zovirax in us and Martin serving as honorary captains.
One downside to the Patriots’ victory was injuries to the defensive secondary. Zovirax in us The Patriots announced injuries to Aqib Talib (hip) and Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring). Zovirax in us Neither returned to the game after getting injured . Zovirax in us . Zovirax in us . Zovirax in us With Julian Edelman out for the season with a foot injury, zovirax in us Wes Welker took over the Patriots’ punt return duties. Zovirax in us He returned four for 50 yards, zovirax in us with a long of 31 . Zovirax in us . Zovirax in us . Zovirax in us Welker also caught three passes, zovirax in us pushing his streak of consecutive regular-season games with a catch to 107 . Zovirax in us . Zovirax in us . Zovirax in us Donte Stallworth made the most of his return to the Patriots. Zovirax in us He caught only one pass from Brady, zovirax in us but the catch-and-run went for 63 yards and a touchdown in the third quarter, zovirax in us making it 28-0. Zovirax in us It was a case of practice makes perfect, zovirax in us even if the practice had been a while ago. Zovirax in us “That particular play is something we had worked on, zovirax in us even in the spring, zovirax in us’’ he said. Zovirax in us “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. Zovirax in us He put it up for me to catch it and that’s what I did.’’ . Zovirax in us . Zovirax in us . Zovirax in us His team off until Wednesday, zovirax in us Celtics coach Doc Rivers was spotted on the sideline observing pregame warmups, zovirax in us wearing a Patriots red sweater and chatting up his Patriots counterpart, zovirax in us Bill Belichick. Zovirax in us Also in on the conversation: Boston sports fan Mark Wahlberg. Zovirax in us Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo was also at the game, zovirax in us wearing a No. Zovirax in us 83 Patriots jersey . Zovirax in us . Zovirax in us . Zovirax in us The Patriots extended their December winning streak to 13 games, zovirax in us dating to a 22-21 loss at Miami on Dec. Zovirax in us 6, zovirax in us 2009. Zovirax in us It ties the Patriots for the second-longest such streak with the Dallas Cowboys, zovirax in us who accomplished the feat from 1968-72. Zovirax in us The record belongs to the San Diego Chargers, zovirax in us winners of 18 straight from 2006-09. Zovirax in us New England also has won 21 straight games in the second half of the regular season. Zovirax in us The Patriots went 8-0 in the second half of 2010, zovirax in us 8-0 in 2011, zovirax in us and have won their first five this season. Zovirax in us The last loss from the back half of the schedule came in the regular-season finale in 2009, zovirax in us when the Patriots lost at Houston, zovirax in us 34-27 … In a pre-game Twitter message, zovirax in us self-described Patriots fan Donald Trump posted, zovirax in us “Good Luck to Bob Kraft, zovirax in us Tom Brady and Coach Bob Belichick tonight.” Needless to say, zovirax in us the Donald got plenty of unwanted attention for his fumble . Zovirax in us . Zovirax in us . Zovirax in us Keep an eye out for Jerod Mayo on Tuesday. Zovirax in us He’ll be joining Subway spokesman Jared Fogle during multiple appearances around town, zovirax in us thanking unassuming fans with a dozen acts of kindness.
Michael Whitmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Zovirax in us Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.