5 Colts defenders that must step up during Isaiah Rodgers Sr.’s looming suspension

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4./3. Kwity Paye and Samson Ebukam must improve Colts pass rush

Pass rush and coverage often work in tandem in the NFL. A great pass rush can hide a subpar secondary, and elite coverage often allows defensive linemen extra time to get to the quarterback. If a defense has a quality pass rush and a good secondary, it’s probably an elite defense.

With Gilmore in Dallas and Rodgers likely suspended, the Colts secondary may struggle this season. Having a relentless pass rush that makes things tough for opposing quarterbacks is a way to work around that. That’s why Kwity Paye and Samson Ebukam must step up for Indianapolis this season.

The Colts let Yannick Ngakoue walk in free agency this offseason, opting to replace him with Samson Ebukam. Ebukam was a productive member of the San Francisco 49ers great defense, and plays with a relentless energy, however, in six years in the NFL, Ebukam hasn’t had more than five sacks in a single season.

Paye, on the other hand, is preparing for his third season in the NFL. As a rookie, he recorded four sacks, and he improved that number to six in year two. However, his promising play has come in spurts because of injuries, playing 15 games as a rookie and 12 in 2022.

In order for the Colts defense to be good in 2023, both Paye and Ebukam will have to take their games to another level and be more consistent pass rushers. If they can do that, Indy could still survive if the corners are below average.