It was the Swans' fifth consecutive victory as they improved their record to 6-3, continuing their charge up the ladder after a sluggish start to the season.
While it was also their third straight score of more than 100 points, underlining their high-priced potency in attack, this was a victory built in the midfield.
The competition's leading ball-winner Josh Kennedy dined out with 39 disposals, while Kieren Jack (32), Dan Hannebery (28) and the unheralded Craig Bird (31) started much of the Swans' tireless work. Luke Parker added 26 touches of his own and kicked two goals, the second from a brilliant snap from the pocket
in the first term.
The Bomber approached a contest with his head over the ball and Hannebery turned side-on and bumped Hurley, who was dazed for moments afterwards and needed help from the field. He returned in the last quarter.
Swans coach John Longmire thought his team's fast start set the tone.
"It just makes such a big difference when you are able to get the ball back from the opposition, and turn that into a scoring opportunity and kicking seven goals to one in the first quarter. It just means that you get out of the blocks really well, which we did."
The Bombers dropped to 4-5 with their first loss in three matches, and were served well by Brendon Goddard (34 touches) and Paddy Ryder (16 disposals and two goals).
Tasked with stopping Kurt Tippett, Cale Hooker continues to rise up the ranks as one of the competition's best key defenders. Although the high-profile Swan kicked three second-half goals, he took just four marks and was mostly well held.
The Bombers continued to struggle to hit the scoreboard, kicking fewer than 10 goals for the sixth match in succession.
But coach Mark Thompson wasn't altogether disappointed with his side, choosing instead to rave about the first-term barrage by the Swans.
"The Swans were just incredible in the first quarter. You're under pressure and it was really difficult to play, but I was just really happy with the second and third quarters and how they fought their way out of it.
"I thought there were a lot of positives tonight, [as] stupid as that sounds."
Thompson said he had used him in that role because ruckman Tom Bellchambers had returned.
Before the Bombers could blink in the opening term, they were four goals down. The Swans continued in the same vein, registering their highest first-quarter score (7.1) in more than a year.
Essendon's problem was that the Bloods wanted blood, and didn't let up.
The Bombers steadied late in the second term, and kicked four goals for the quarter. But every time they looked like getting control, the Swans struck back, and had extended their lead to 43 by the main break.
Not much separated the sides in basic statistics, but the gap in class between them was enormous. While Essendon held onto the ball for far too long chipping backwards and sideways, the Swans' movement was swift and direct.
Essendon seemed to simplify things after half time, and Ryder offered a mobile, marking option in attack. But where the Bombers had one, the Swans had more. And one in particular who always enjoys playing against the Bombers, no matter whether his jumper is brown and gold, or red and white.
Essendon's medical staff attended to a concussed Pannell on the field, with club doctor Bruce Reid telling Channel 7 that the umpire had avoided suffering a neck injury in the incident.