Darcy Parish and Zach Merrett ran riot as Essendon produced a dominant first half to lay the groundwork for a comfortable 72-point win over North Melbourne.
The Bombers set the tone early and while they fell short of coach Ben Rutten's stated aim to piece together a consistent four quarters, they were never seriously challenged.
Out-of-contract midfielders Parish (36 disposals and 11 clearances) and Merrett (31 and two) underlined their value in stellar performances alongside Andrew McGrath (31 and five).
Peter Wright, Harrison Jones and Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti (three each) were among seven multiple goal-kickers for Essendon in the 22.9 (141) to 10.9 (69) win at Marvel Stadium.
It gave the Bombers consecutive victories for the first time under Rutten and improved their season record to 4-6, leaving them just one win outside the top eight.
"We've had some opportunities early in the season where we got out to some leads and weren't able to go on and win the games, and we spent some time looking at that," Rutten said.
"There's been a couple of examples more recently where we've been able to demonstrate a real professional approach to our footy and that's been pleasing.
"The third quarter didn't really go our way ... but we were able to get some momentum back."
A horror day for the Kangaroos seemed like it got worse when star ruckman Todd Goldstein went down with a right ankle injury moments before three-quarter time.
Goldstein twisted the joint as he landed from a centre bounce ruck contest and was immediately helped off the field, but was assessed in the changeroom and reappeared for the final term.
North were blitzed early when Merrett stamped his authority with 14 disposals as Essendon piled on six first-quarter goals.
The Bombers were in the zone at both ends, with Jones snapping a superb goal from the pocket and Nick Hind setting the bar for desperation with a chase-down on Cam Zurhaar that prevented a certain goal.
Zurhaar took a huge mark when he climbed onto Jayden Laverde's back on the wing and plucked another close to goal as North enjoyed a brief patch of ascendancy in general play during the third quarter.
Taylor Garner kicked three goals for the Kangaroos and Ben Cunnington finished with 34 disposals and nine clearances, while Kayne Turner did a good job on McDonald-Tipungwuti for the most part.
But coach David Noble conceded it was a "really poor" performance from his side after their first win of the season eight days earlier.
"We clearly got a lesson today on quick use of the ball, turnover, punishing the opportunity ... and that was the disappointing thing," Noble said.