But Detroit challenged the spot of the ball, and after a video review the ball was moved back about 18 inches, enough to turn over the football on downs to the Lions.
Later in the quarter, another Giants fourth down try inside the Detroit 30-yard line failed when a pass to Beckham fell incomplete.
Manning completed 22 of 32 passes for 239 passing yards and one touchdown, an 18-yard connection to the rookie tight end Evan Engram.
Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford connected on 15 of 21 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns. A 27-yard touchdown grab by Marvin Jones Jr. gave the Lions a 7-0 lead, and tight end Eric Ebron hauled in a 7-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.
After trailing by 17-7 at the half, the Giants began the third quarter with more bumbling play, especially by the offensive line. Manning, who had been sacked four times in the first half, was dragged down in the pocket again on the second play of the second half.
Detroit defensive end Ezekiel Ansah blew past Ereck Flowers, the Giants’ overmatched left tackle, for his third sack of the game. Flowers, who had a dreadful outing in the Giants’ season-opening loss to Dallas — and was a glaring disappointment last season as well — was no better Monday night. In fact, he may be regressing. And the Giants coaching staff is most likely wondering how long it can continue to start Flowers, the team’s 2015 first-round draft choice, at a crucial position like left tackle.
A 38-yard pass from Manning to the backup tight end Jerell Adams gave the Giants the ball at the Detroit 1-yard line near the midpoint of the third quarter. But a holding penalty on guard Brett Jones on the first play after Adams’s reception pushed the Giants back 10 yards. The Giants advanced to the Lions’ 2-yard and lined up for a fourth-and-goal attempt at a touchdown, but another Giants miscue — a delay-of-game penalty — forced the Giants to instead settle for a 25-yard field goal by kicker Aldrick Rosas.
The Giants played the game without two key defensive starters. The team’s best cornerback, Janoris Jenkins, did not dress for the game because of a hand injury and linebacker B.J. Goodson, the team’s leading tackler, was sidelined by a leg injury.
On the Giants’ first series, just after Manning was sacked for the first time, right tackle Bobby Hart limped off the field after re-aggravating an ankle injury. Hart did not return.