10 QUESTIONS WITH TWENTYMAN: Are comeback wins a sustainable model?

Every week during the regular season Tim Twentyman will answer 10 good questions from his Twitter account @ttwentyman in a feature we call "10 Questions with Twentyman."

@ttwentyman how much longer until the "the Lions aren't sustainable" narrative dies? #10questions — Double Dee (@DGarraston) November 24, 2016

20man: This isn't the ideal model for winning football games, obviously, but give the Lions credit. They find ways to win games, whether it be on Matthew Stafford's right arm, Matt Prater's right foot or a defensive play late.

It's easy to step back and say, 'They can't continue to win this way, right?' and then they prove you wrong and win in comeback fashion week after week.

This is a confident, loose and gritty team with a ton of confidence. They never think they're out of it, and are always sure they can make a play when they need to. Seven out of 11 tries this year, they've found a way.

The amazing thing about it is that they still haven't played a game where both the offense and defense play well at the same time.

Can they win this way in Dallas? What about Seattle?

My mind tells me no, but I've had a front row seat to all seven of these wins this year, and nothing really surprises me about this team anymore.

They've proven over the course of three months that this is a sustainable model.

20man: His role seems to be expanding every week. He's been a terrific third-down stopper for this team in the three-safety package defensive coordinator Teryl Austin has used recently.

Killebrew's played 20 snaps on defense the last two games and recorded nine tackles. That kind of production is hard to ignore, and I'd expect Austin to continue to find ways to get Killebrew on the field even more moving forward.

He's on the path to be a starter at some point in his career if he keeps gaining experience and making plays.

20man: Ebron was held catchless for the first time this year.

I thought Stafford missed him a couple times in Thursday's game. One play in particular, I can't remember if it was in the first or second half, Ebron had gotten behind the linebackers and the safety lost him. It would have been a huge play down the middle, but Stafford dumped it down instead.

This is a team that has a number of weapons in the passing game, and they spread it around. We've seen Ebron, Theo Riddick, Marvin Jones Jr., Golden Tate and Anquan Boldin all have big performances this season. That's a good thing in the long run. It puts a lot of pressure on a defense, because on any given Sunday, any one of them can go off.

Thursday wasn't Ebron's day, but I consider that an anomaly rather than the norm moving forward.

20man: I would expect DeAndre Levy to be in the mix to play next Sunday in New Orleans.

He was upgraded from doubtful against Jacksonville to questionable vs. Minnesota. The next step, obviously, would be playing.

We'll see how practice goes next week, but I'd be a little surprised if he wasn't ready to return in New Orleans Dec. 4.

20man: There really is no timeline for Abdullah.

It's a medical decision at this point. The fact that linebacker Jon Bostic hasn't returned to practice yet makes me wonder if the Lions are going to see how it goes with Abdullah in the hope he can return sometime at the end of the season. That would obviously be a huge boost for this offense.

As for Pettigrew, he returned to practice last week. The Lions have 21 days from the time he first practices to decide whether they want to activate him to the roster or leave him on PUP, essentially ending his season.

I haven't been told this, but I think there's a chance the Lions get both back at some point, which would no-doubt help a run game that's currently ranked 30th in the NFL.

20man: I love the speed and power, but watching him, I don't see a lot of vision or creativity. There are no jump cuts or improvisation.

If a play is designed to run through the B-gap, Washington runs in the B-gap, even if it's not there. That's just what I see.

Protections have also been an issue for Washington. If he can't pass protect, the Lions won't trust him to be in the game. He missed a block Thursday that led to a sack.

He's a rookie and it takes time, but the fact that Riddick played 48 snaps and Washington only 13 on Thanksgiving is telling.

20man: It's been an issue this year, for sure.

As of Friday, the Lions lead the league with 20 drops.

Here's where they've ranked in that department since 2009, according to STATS, INC.:

2009: 27th (37 drops)

2010: 31st (41)

2011: 31st (37)

2012: 32nd (45)

2013: 32nd (44)

2014: 14th (24)

2015: 7th (17)

2016: 32nd (20 through 11 games)

The last two seasons they've been much improved, so I'm not sure why it's become an issue again.

20man: I talked about Killebrew earlier.

As for the draft, I typically hold out judgment on a particular class until their third year in the league, but so far so good for the rookies.

Tackle Taylor Decker looks like he's going to be a player. So does defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson. Guard Graham Glasgow is big and physical, but has some technique things to improve, which he will. I like Killebrew. Linebacker Antwione Williams is carving out a role and he's only going to get better. I like how big and physical he is in that SAM spot.

The Lions think enough of Rudock to place him on the active roster, instead of letting another team sign him off their practice squad. I can see him potentially being Stafford's backup in 2017.

Defensive end Anthony Zettel is super athletic and has made a play here and there in limited reps. Washington is a power back with room to grow.

In a very small sample size, it looks like a nice group with a lot of potential.

20man: If I had the answer to that I'd be making a lot more money than I do right now.

It's really been a combination of a lot of different things. They gets spurts from their run game, then it goes dormant. They protect well for stretches, then Stafford feels the pressure.

To me, the biggest issue has been not being good enough on first and second down. Way too many times we see this offense get behind the sticks with third and longs.

The Lions rank 19th in first-down efficiency. That means only 46.2 percent of their first-down plays gain at least four yards. They need to be better on early downs.

20man: The color rush uniforms were designed by the NFL for use on Thursday Night football games. The Lions didn't have a Thursday night game on the schedule this season.

If the Lions are scheduled on Thursday night next season, I'd expect their color rush uniforms to be worn then.

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