The star wide receiver also missed last week’s game in Cleveland, largely as a precaution. He has been bothered by a bruised knee.
Johnson, who caught three passes in Detroit’s preseason opener Aug. 9 against New York, is expected to be ready to go once the regular season gets starts in two weeks.
Kellen Moore, who backed up Stafford in Shaun Hill’s absence, led the Lions on a touchdown drive to open the second half, throwing a 22-yard scoring pass to tight end Joseph Fauria. That score, which gave the Lions a 23-3 lead, was sandwiched by Akers’ field goals of 49 and 47 yards.
Hill sat out the game to rest as he did this week in practice.
Moore threw another TD pass, a 15-yarder, to wideout Micheal Spurlock in the fourth quarter.
Another of Detroit’s key free-agent signings, defensive end Jason Jones, had a big game for the Lions, sacking Brady twice and recovering a fumble. And the oft-injured Louis Delmas, who returned after missing much of the preseason while recovering from a knee injury, also recovered a fumble.
Ryan Mallett directed the Patriots for the entire second half with New England’s coaches opting not to play third-stringer Tim Tebow. A contingent of fans at the game broke into a “We want Tebow!” chant.
The former Heisman Trophy winner has passed poorly but run well in the preseason and is not considered a lock to make the team.
Both teams need to get down to the NFL-mandated 75 players by Tuesday. The Patriots finish the exhibition schedule Aug. 29 against the New York Giants; the final cut to 53 comes two days later.