A switch to Matt Nichols as the starting quarterback paid off as the Blue Bombers snapped a two-game losing skid, coming away with a 30-23 victory over the Edmonton Eskimos on Thursday.
Nichols, who got the nod over starter Drew Willy, was effective out of the gate and put together a long opening drive that saw a 39-yard pass to Weston Dressler set up a one-yard TD plunge by Andrew Harris on a third-down gamble. They added a single on the ensuing kickoff.
The Winnipeg pivot, who was with the Eskimos from 2010 to 2015, finished the game 26-of-33 passing for 304 yards and one touchdown. Winnipeg improved to 2-4.
"It feels great, not only for myself, but for the entire team,'' he said.
"Starting off the season 1-4 is never easy and I think it takes a certain group of guys to come out and not let it affect them. We had a lot of injuries. We already had a couple of receivers down and we lost a couple more tonight, but guys stepped in and were getting open for me. It was an overall team effort.''
Harris, who had 127 rushing yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, said the QB change gave the team a bit of a boost.
"It was just a spark for us,'' he said. "Matt plays with a high motor and a lot of intensity. You know he is going to compete to make big plays and is passionate about it.''
Edmonton (2-3) lost its second straight, the latest coming after allowing one of the biggest comebacks in league history in its previous game, when the Hamilton Tiger-Cats erased a 31-6 deficit for a 37-31 victory.
"Losing is frustrating,'' said Eskimos coach Jason Maas.
"It's not any one thing. We didn't start off fast enough to keep up at the beginning but we fought to the end. The bottom line ... if we don't start playing better in all three phases for 60 minutes, it's going to be tough to win.''
The Blue Bombers return to action next Wednesday when they play host to Hamilton. Edmonton will travel to Ottawa to face the Redblacks next Saturday.
Notes: Edmonton came into the contest with a seven-game overall winning streak against the Blue Bombers, and had won their last eight straight at home over Winnipeg, which had not won in Commonwealth Stadium since 2006 ... Dressler left the game with injury.