The Vikings special teams units made considerable improvement this season after experiencing major problems in 2008.

The coverage units had more speed and playmakers, in addition to the return of Pro Bowl member Heath Farwell. Rookie Percy Harvin became one of the league's best kickoff returners and Darius Reynaud showed some flash as a punt returner.

Rick Gosselin, the long-time NFL writer for The Dallas Morning News, does an annual ranking of special teams and the Vikings finished No. 9 this season.

In Gosselin's formula, the teams are ranked in 22 categories and assigned points. The points then are added for the final rankings. The Cleveland Browns finished first this season.

Here is a link to Gosselin's story and rankings.