Two plays before he scored the touchdown that would clinch the Minnesota Vikings' 27-21 victory today over the Cleveland Browns, running back Ted Brown felt a pop in his knee.

"I didn't know what happened at first," he said. "My knee kind of went out on me. But I guess they kind of set it, and it felt all right. I went back in two plays later and I was glad they called the play for me."

Brown ran for first-half touchdowns of one and five yards in helping the Vikings to a 17-7 halftime lead, then caught a 10-yard scoring pass from Tommy Kramer with 4:31 left in the third quarter to put Minnesota on top, 24-14 .

"He (Brown) was definitely the primary receiver, although it may not have looked like it because I had to scramble to spot him," Kramer said.

Kramer, who completed 17 of his 20 first-half passes for 150 yards, finished with 22 completions in 33 attempts for 198 yards.

Viking cornerback Rufus Bess intercepted a pass by Brian Sipe at the Vikings' 31-yard line with 32 seconds remaining in the game to preserve the victory.

"I should have just thrown it away and taken our chances on fourth down," Sipe said.

The Vikings, known for their passing offense, surprised Cleveland by opening up with a rushing game. Brown ran 11 yards on the first play from scrimmage, and Darrin Nelson followed with a 34-yard run that took the ball to the Cleveland 35-yard line.

The Vikings ran the ball nine times in 12 plays on the opening drive, with Brown running in from one yard out.

The Vikings then opened up their offense late in the quarter as Kramer completed six of seven passes on an 83-yard drive culminating in a 23-yard field goal by Benny Ricardo.

Cleveland, which did not record a first down until five minutes were gone in the second period, pulled within 10-7 on Sipe's 18-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Feacher.