Bears expect Mack back when Lions visit

A couple of first-year head coaches will meet when the Chicago Bears host the Detroit Lions on Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field.But the early results have been much different for Chicago’s Matt Nagy and Detroit’s Matt Patricia.The Bears are 5-3 and sit in first place in the NFC North as they pursue their first playoff appearance since 2010. Alternatively, the Lions are in last place at 3-5 and hope to avoid a three-game skid this weekend.Just don’t bring up any playoff chatter with Nagy. Not yet, at least.”Never,” Nagy said in comments published by the Chicago Daily Herald. “You’ll never hear that from me. You’ll never hear the word ‘playoffs’ from me. Because we’re worried about (Game) 9. If we worry about playoffs, then we’re worrying about the wrong thing. We have a lot of season left.”That includes home-and-home games against the rival Lions, who have won three straight games against the Bears and nine of the previous 10. This is the 177th all-time meeting between the clubs, with Chicago holding an all-time advantage of 97-74-5.The Bears enter the weekend fifth in the NFL with an average of 29.4 points per game. The Lions are 20th with 22.5 points per game.On defense, the Bears are No. 4 with an average of 19.1 points allowed. Detroit has let up 26.3 points per game, which is 23rd in the league.Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has a 96.1 passer rating in his second season. He has passed for 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions.Trubisky’s counterpart on the opposite sideline will be Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, now in his 10th season. The Georgia alum has a nearly identical passer rating at 96.5 and has passed for 14 touchdowns and six interceptions.A sprained right ankle has sidelined Bears pass rusher Khalil Mack for the past two games, and his status is uncertain for Sunday. In a likely positive sign, Mack was available for a Wednesday practice for the first time since Week 6.