Eddie Jones graciously acknowledged his side had been beaten by the better team on the day after England's bid for a second successive Six Nations Grand Slam was halted at the last by Ireland.
Iain Henderson's first-half try ultimately proved decisive as Ireland battled to a deserved 13-9 victory in Dublin - ending their opponents' record-equalling winning run at 18 matches.
England had run in 61 points against Scotland in their previous outing as they retained the tournament title with a game to spare, but three penalties from Owen Farrell provided their only points on Saturday as the hosts excelled in defence at a soggy Aviva Stadium.
"It just wasn't our day today," Jones told ITV Sport. "Ireland played very well, they played well with the conditions.
"It was hard to get anything going - we struggled in the lineout and we struggled at the breakdown. They were two key areas.
"Their defence was good; we couldn't get any momentum in our attack. We tried to get momentum through the forwards, we couldn't get it there, and we couldn't shift the ball any wider because they were off the line so quickly. We would have liked to have kicked a bit better, but we didn't and these things happen.
"At the end of the day we're back-to-back Six Nations champions. It would have been great to be Grand Slam champions and world-record holders, but it wasn't our day and these things happen.
"Sometimes you play against a team that's better than you and they were better than us today - they were fantastic around the breakdown."
Jones was satisfied with the effort of his team, who plugged away in a tense finale as they sought to replicate the fightbacks they had completed against France and Wales earlier in the tournament.
"There'll be technical issues around the game that we have to look at. I don't think we had any attitude problems," added the Australian.
"I think our attitude was good and it was still only 13-9 at the end of the game and we didn't play well."