DETROIT The New York Giants couldn t put together another last-minute road win.
This time, they didn t care.
With Eli Manning on the bench and Super Bowl heroes David Tyree and Plaxico Burress back home, David Carr and the Giants couldn t come from behind in a 13-10 exhibition loss to the Detroit Lions last night.
It s too bad. It would have been nice for us to finish off the game, Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. But the idea is to improve from the first preseason game to the second. We ve got a lot to work on.
Manning, the Super Bowl MVP, struggled on his only two series, completing two of six passes for 19 yards in his first game since leading the Giants to a 17-14 championship game win over New England. He was 0-for-3 on New York s first possession, including two passes that were knocked down by Lions linemen.
Eddie Johnson s 31-yard field goal with 2:47 left put the Giants down 13-10. They trailed New England 14-10 in the final moments of February s Super Bowl.
This time, though, it was Carr at the helm of the offense, trying to resurrect a disappointing career. The former No. 1 pick got New York as far as the Detroit 40, but an intentional grounding penalty was followed by a sack, and the Lions hung on.
Both teams pulled their starters after the first quarter, when the Lions led 7-0. Detroit scored on the game s opening drive when Roy Williams broke free of Michael Johnson s tackle and went 20 yards with a short pass from Jon Kitna.
In his two drives, Kitna went 6-for-7 for 106 yards and the touchdown to Williams. He wasn t sacked, something he has rarely been able to say in his first two seasons with Detroit.
That s been the emphasis all offseason, he said. When we have good protection, the turnovers are going to go down. When you re not under duress, you have the ability to make better decisions.
Detroit s first-team offense struggled on the ground, though, as Tatum Bell carried seven times for eight yards.
Not good enough, Lions coach Rod Marinelli said. The key to everything is running the ball.
Anthony Wright led the Giants on their first sustained drive late in the second quarter, and Lawrence Tynes kicked a 33-yard field goal to make it 7-3. Jason Hanson answered with a 50-yarder in the last minute of the half to restore Detroit s seven-point lead, but strained a thigh muscle on the play.
The Giants then tied the game with 12:09 left on Carr s 13-yard pass to Craphonso Thorpe.
Drew Stanton, Detroit s third-string quarterback, had three long runs as the Lions drove deep into Giants territory in the final minutes.
I liked the way he moved the ball down the field, Marinelli said. He showed some awareness and threw some nice passes.
The drive stalled at the New York 23, but Johnson s field goal attempt was kicked down the middle.