Patriots quarterback Tom Brady could not guide his team to a touchdown in the exhibition contest and was intercepted once while completing 16-of-24 for 186 yards.
Akers kicked field goals of 23, 31 and 49 yards while Detroit was building a 16-3 halftime lead and added a 47-yarder in the third quarter.
Detroit's Matthew Stafford threw for 166 yards and found Tony Scheffler with a 9-yard touchdown pass in the second period. Kellen Moore threw two scoring passes in the second half as the Lions piled on the points.
New England's only touchdown came with 32 seconds left in the game on a 9-yard throw from Ryan Mallett to James Develin.
Detroit averaged 6.6 yards per play while improving its pre-season record to 2-1. The Patriots lost for the first time in their three games.