The Patriots' first-team offense, which looked to be in midseason form in its first two exhibition games, was in preseason form Thursday at Ford Field.
"The defense set a standard today. We can be one of the better defenses (in the league) if we keep working," said Louis Delmas, the oft-injured safety who returned after missing much of the preseason while recovering from a knee injury. He recovered Sudfeld's fumble on the game's first drive.
Brady played four series in the first two preseason games combined, completing 18 of his 20 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns in two victories. But in a half of work in Detroit, he was 16 of 24 for 185 yards and the second-quarter interception by Detroit cornerback Chris Houston.
"We didn't do anything in the first half other than turn the ball over," Brady said.
Detroit starter Matthew Stafford also played the entire first half and helped lead Detroit's first team to a better showing than it had in its first two exhibition efforts.
The starters played seven series in those games -- a win over the Jets and a loss in Cleveland -- and managed only a pair of field goals.
Akers' first field goal, a 23-yarder, was set up by a 67-yard catch and run by Reggie Bush, who was a big factor in the passing game.
Bush, the multi-purpose back brought in to provide a spark for Detroit this season, ran for only a single yard on six carries, but he had five catches for 103 yards.
Stafford finished 12 of 25 for 166 yards, but had to play again without his top target, Calvin Johnson.
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.
"We were down a big playmaker in our offense tonight and our defense knew that, showed up and played great," Stafford said. "It's about the team, man."
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.
The former Heisman Trophy winner has passed poorly but run well in the preseason and is not considered a lock to make the team.
NOTES: Detroit special teams ace Montell Owens fell to the turf without being touched during a second-quarter rushing attempt and had to be helped off the field after several minutes. He did not return. ... WR Kenbrell Thompkins led the Patriots in receiving with eight catches for 116 yards. ... A 9-yard pass from Mallett to RB James Develin accounted for New England's lone TD.