The news was better in Thursday's final preseason game than it had been lately for the Vikings' special teams.

Daniel Carlson made both his field goal attempts and an extra point, while Holton Hill had a 53-yard kickoff return. But punter Ryan Quigley had a kick partially blocked, leaving room for continued concern. (He was subsequently released.)

Special teams have been an underrated area of strength for the Vikings despite some kicking woes in recent years. They've generally covered kicks well and have made impact plays in the return game, creating valuable field position edges.

Pro Football Focus ranked them the No. 1 overall special teams unit in 2017, and they've been in the top 10 each of the past three seasons.

Any regression there is a sneaky thing that could undermine this season, while continued success could give the Vikings three well above-average units.

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. michael.rand@startribune.com.