Mike Reilly threw for 465 yards and two touchdowns as the defending Grey Cup champions beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 20-16.
"We're happy just to come out of here with a victory on the road,'' said Eskimos coach Jason Maas.
"(But) we have to stop the penalties. We have to figure out a way to stop hurting ourselves and start faster.''
Edmonton took 12 penalties and gave up 114 yards. Eight of those infractions came in the first half, allowing Winnipeg to jump out to an early 10-0 lead at one point.
"It was a slugfest ... It wasn't the cleanest of games,'' said Reilly. "We were pretty sloppy.''
Reilly completed 32-of-45 passes and said his team should have had more points on the board.
"We were able to move the ball extremely well but we weren't able to finish.''
The Bombers, who fell to 1-3, were saying a lot of the same things about the penalties, although not so much about success moving the ball. Quarterback Drew Willy completed 25-of-38 attempts for 299 yards and one touchdown, but also had two interceptions. The Bombers had 317 yards total offence to Edmonton's 517.
Winnipeg took 14 penalties for 136 yards and eight of those penalties were in the second half, when the Bombers watched an important game slip away.
"Too many penalties to beat a good team,'' said coach Mike O'Shea.
Despite losing the offensive battle, O'Shea wouldn't criticize Willy's play.
"I don't know that we ran the ball very well,'' he said. "I think there was a stretch where he didn't set his feet well enough maybe.
"All the holding penalties, the lack of production on first downs, puts any quarterback in a bad spot.''
With all the penalties and coaches' challenges, the game was a choppy one but Maas had no issues with the referees.
"We have to do better as coaches and players ... And the bottom line, cleaning it up.''