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Who's under the most pressure as we enter 2015?

We start with some thoughts from David Bowie:

Bowie and Queen released "Under Pressure" nearly 34 years ago. The song is definitely not about football, though it certainly works when viewed through that prism.

Everyone in the NFL is under pressure. The league amounts to an unending meritocracy, pushing out hundreds of players and coaches out each year and replacing them with guys whose own clock starts ticking the moment they sign their contract.

The pressure works on different levels. We have the bottom to the roster guys just looking to hang on to their dreams. Coaches who have to win games to appease fans, owners and GMs. Then there's the established players -- stars in some cases -- who must meet expectations or face an uncertain future.

Let's take a look at some of those more notable players and one coach who are feeling that pressure push down on them. Well, right after you finish listening to one of the great masterpieces of the 80s:

Now to the list ...

Dalton must step up

Four years into his career, Andy Dalton is already second only to Peyton Manning with four one-and-done appearances in the postseason. In 14 career prime-time or playoff games, his team has won just three times. Dalton has generated a 55 percent completion rate, 12:17 interception-to-touchdown ratio and a passer rating south of 70.0 when the lights shine brightest. Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is tired of being the brunt of jokes, a sentiment he shares with the local fan base.

Dalton has no excuses this year. Led by breakout backfield starJeremy Hill and four-time Pro Bowl wideout A.J. Green, this year's collection of weapons is superior to the 2005 version that set franchise records in passing, rushing and receiving. With AJ McCarronstarting to impress Bengals' brass, the pressure is on Dalton in a make-or-break year. He has to start maximizing his surrounding talent. -- Chris Wesseling

Peyton feeling the heat

The window is closing on the Peyton Manning era in Denver. He won't say it, but 2015 boils down to one final Super Bowl run with a Broncos squad that has fallen short of expectations.

After seeing Tom Brady add another Lombardi to his collection, Manning desperately wants to go out on top. Easier said than done with a new coach, new playbook and old body, but Manning has the benefit of a strong ground game and a stiff defense. This is all about legacy, and another short-circuited playoff run by the Broncos will be seen as a massive failure. -- Marc Sessler

Can Odell do it again?

Odell Beckham defines pressure in 2015, and unfortunately this is not his fault. All Beckham did in 2014 was play extraordinarily great football. Then someone compared him to Lawrence Taylor. Then he won Rookie of the Year. Then he got put on the Madden cover. Then every interview he did got put under a magnifying lens. Yes, it's unfortunate that we're viewing Beckham through this prism but at the same time, he might be -- as colleague Chris Wesseling likes to say -- the type of "generational" talent who turns this pressure into something incredible. -- Conor Orr

Whisenhunt must deliver in Year 2

The Titans were a comprehensive snoozefest last season, but coach Ken Whisenhunt now has his quarterback of tomorrow in Marcus Mariota. Drafting a young passer usually buys coaches time, but another stinker of a campaign could shoot Whisenhunt out the door.

Prematurely anointed as a quarterback guru by some, Whiz is on the hook to prove that he can squeeze the most out Mariota. That boils to down developing a creative, custom-fit attack for the former Oregon star. If the Titans don't turn up the heat in the AFC South, the franchise -- amid a potential ownership change -- will think hard about starting over with a new mentor for Mariota. -- Marc Sessler

A.J. needs to find a fit in Indy

I view Andre Johnson in the way that so many Falcons fans viewed Steven Jackson, and that is as a missing piece on a team so close to a Super Bowl. We all know how that worked out, and I fear that Johnson could be headed in the same direction if Indianapolis' defense doesn't drastically improve. He's also being thrown into a mix of developing young wide receivers.

Not to say that he's lost a step -- he hasn't -- but stylistically the fit doesn't seem right. I welcome the chance to be proved wrong and to see Johnson hauling in the decisive catch in Super Bowl 50. -- Conor Orr

Blake Bortles must progress

Jaguars fans still recovering from the Blaine Gabbert Era couldn't have felt good as Bortles' rookie season quickly unraveled thanks to a poor offensive line, faulty mechanics and a suspect supporting cast. The reports are all good out of Jacksonville this spring, and the Jaguars have improved their backfield while adding a big fish in tight end Julius Thomas. Conor sees Bortles as a guy ready to make the leap. The Jaguars need it to happen, too, or they'll be asking once again if they invested in the right guy behind center. -- Dan Hanzus

The latest Around The NFL Podcast welcomes back Lindsay Rhodes to recap Antonio Gates' suspension and the 'Top 100' rankings. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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