The homecoming party Cleveland Browns fans waited nearly four years to throw came off without a hitch. Except for the final score, of course.
What mattered most was that the NFL was back on the lakefront and the Browns were back on the field.
The Browns came home for good last night, opening their new stadium in front of the same fans who fought to bring them back to Cleveland with a 24-17 preseason loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Randall Cunningham and Cris Carter ran a passing clinic in the first quarter for the Vikings (1-1), whose first team dominated the expansion Browns, outgaining them 130 yards to 24 in the period.
Cunningham was 10 of 11 for 95 yards before being replaced by Jeff George. Carter, whose five-yard catch in the second quarter gave the Vikings a 14-0 lead, made five catches -- three on diving grabs -- in the opening period.
Randy Moss also caught a touchdown pass for the Vikings.
Rookie Tim Couch, making his first NFL start for Cleveland, was 8 of 17 for 77 yards. Ty Detmer, expected to be the Browns' starter when the regular season opens, threw two touchdown passes.
COLTS 37, SAINTS 7: Rookie running back Edgerrin James scored twice in the game in New Orleans.
Playing in the first half, James rushed for 77 yards on 10 carries and scored on runs of 16 yards and 12 yards.
The Colts (2-1) took James as the fourth overall draft pick, one ahead of Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams. By picking James, Indianapolis allowed the Saints to move up to get Williams. New Orleans, also looking to boost its running game, gave up eight draft picks, six this year and two next year, for Williams.
Williams did not play, sidelined with an injured left ankle he suffered in the first preseason game against Miami.
BEARS 38, RAMS 24: After throwing interceptions on his first two pass attempts, Cade McNown, the 12th overall pick of this year's draft -- making his first start -- led host Chicago on an eight-play 68-yard drive that ended with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Macey Brooks. It was his first touchdown pass in three preseason games. He finished the night 7 of 13 for 71 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions.
The loss spoiled Marshall Faulk's debut in a St. Louis uniform. Faulk, traded from Indianapolis a few days before the draft, rushed for 17 yards on nine carries.
Chicago's Curtis Enis, playing in his first game since tearing knee ligaments last November, rushed for 24 yards on seven carries.
GIANTS 27, JAGUARS 20: Kent Graham passed for 269 yards and two touchdowns in a 304-yard, 24-point first half that led New York in a home victory that featured 11 lost fumbles.
New York (2-0) did its best to hand the game away in the second half, losing fumbles on its first six possessions. It lost seven in all. Despite great field position, the Jaguars (1-1) only got 13 points off the mistakes, highlighted by Mike Logan's 37-yard touchdown return in the third quarter.
PATRIOTS 34, COWBOYS 14: Terry Glenn caught five passes for 85 yards and a touchdown to lead New England in Foxboro, Mass.
Drew Bledsoe played most of the first half, completing 13 of 19 passes for 147 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for the Patriots (1-1). Troy Aikman was 4 of 12 for 33 yards for Dallas, which took out its starters after one quarter and dropped to 0-3.
BUCCANEERS 17, CHIEFS 7: Martin Gramatica, the highest-picked kicker in the 1999 draft, came up with a clutch field goal to lead visiting Tampa Bay.
And the Chiefs, with Pete Stoyanovich sitting out with a hip injury for a second straight week, continued to struggle with their kicking game.
Gramatica broke a 7-7 tie with a 23-yard field goal in the third quarter to improve to 3 for 3 in the preseason.
The Chiefs sent Louie Aguiar, their punter for the past five seasons, out to try a game-tying 23-yarder with about 5 1/2 minutes left in the game, but Sean Fleming -- battling Aguiar for the punter's job -- bobbled the hold.
Former Howard University quarterback Ted White completed 6 of 8 passes for 37 yards for the Chiefs.
BENGALS: Safety Kelvin Moore was in stable condition last night at a hospital in Pontiac, Mich., a day after he broke a vertebra in his neck while making a tackle in a preseason game against the Detroit Lions.
Moore continued to have feeling in his arms and legs, team doctor Robert Heidt Jr. said.
Morgan, 24 -- from Morgan State -- will remain at POH Medical Center for another one to three days, then will be transferred to USC University Hospital in Los Angeles, near his family's home.
Moore was carted off the Silverdome field after his head hit the knee of a Detroit wide receiver awkwardly during the third quarter of the Bengals' 16-0 loss.