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Falcons OC Kyle Shanahan tops list of best play-callers left in NFL playoffs

Championship Sunday is full of offensive stars, from red-hot quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan to the Steelers' Triplets to the Tom Brady-led group from New England. But let's take a look at who is calling the plays for each of the final four teams.

This season, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has helped the Falcons become the league's No. 1 scoring team. Mike McCarthy's play calling -- paired with a little Rodgers magic -- has the Packers riding an eight-game win streak. Patriots OC Josh McDaniels has made adjustments all season, with star players coming in and out of the lineup. And Steelers OC Todd Haley's "pick your poison" offensive attack gives opposing defenses nightmares.

With what we've seen leading up to Championship Sunday, who is the best play-caller left in the playoffs?

This answer, without question, is Kyle Shanahan. He's been doing amazing things with this offense since he came to Atlanta in 2015, and Matt Ryan has progressed and taken his play to a different level this season. I don't expect the league's No. 1 scoring offense to slow down any time soon. I've gotta go with Todd Haley. He took a lot of heat when he first came to Pittsburgh in 2012 -- after he was fired from his head coaching position in Kansas City. But he's stayed patient and has a great relationship with Ben Roethlisberger. He's running a two-headed monster with the Steelers' run and pass games. Haley is calling a successful offense that features not only the Big Three -- Big Ben, Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown -- but a previously undrafted receiver (Eli Rogers), a linebacker-turned fullback (Roosevelt Nix) and other notable players. Shanahan is the best play-caller of this group. His offense has enjoyed a ton of success this season because of the way he moves the chess pieces around the field. He creates mismatches in different areas, which allows the game to be very, very easy for Matt Ryan to play from the pocket.

That being said, I think Mike McCarthy deserves some credit for the way he's had to change personnel packages in Green Bay. But a lot of the big plays have been because of Aaron Rodgers and impromptu scramble plays -- the main reason I can't give the nod to McCarthy. I like the way Todd Haley calls the game in Pittsburgh because he pressures defenses in creative ways, and we saw that last Sunday night vs. Kansas City. Ben Roethlisberger ran out of the pocket and Antonio Brown dragged behind Justin Houston, making a huge play. BUT, at the same time, Big Ben can sometimes go rogue. That's why I have to go with Josh McDaniels. He and Brady are of like mind and know when (and how) to attack defenses, week in and week out. I know this isn't a popular pick, but I'm going to say Mike McCarthy is the best play-caller left in the playoffs. His offense has been smokin' since the midseason lull. The turnaround is due to a combination of chemistry and play-calling, and McCarthy's decisions on third down have been superior. This offense can't be stopped right now. Shanahan's creativity is off the charts. Yes, he has a lot of weapons to work with, but he is dissecting defenses left and right. Pittsburgh's Haley has also done well with the Steelers' offense, as far as creativity goes. And as far as McCarthy and McDaniels are concerned, they have a lot of basic formations and just give the ball to Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, respectively, so I'll give this one to Shanahan.

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