The Minnesota Vikings' special teams have come a long way over the past few years. Back in 2008, they were historically inept, having allowed seven different returns for touchdowns on special teams, and allowing big returns all the way around.

It took until 2012, but the Vikings' special teams have come all the way back, according to Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News. Gosselin puts out an annual review of the special teams performance of all 32 NFL teams, ranking them in 22 different categories. The team at the top of a particular category gets 1 point, while the bottom team in a category gets 32 points. . .so, much like golf, a lower score is better.

In Gosselin's rankings for 2012, the Vikings' special teams racked up a composite score of 253.5, making them the best special teams unit in the National Football League. The Vikings finished 22.5 points better than the Cincinnati Bengals, the team that finished runner-up. Gosselin points out that the Vikings were 29th in his rankings after the 2011 season, and the jump the team made this year is the biggest jump he's had since he's done these rankings. Since he's been doing this for 33 years, that's awfully damn impressive.