Les Bleus were more playful than last year, when they achieved a Grand Slam, especially in their own half, only for Ireland to choke them and make the most of every little mistake Fabien Galthie's side made.
France's decision to try and enjoy more possession came after referees made it more difficult to snatch the ball from the rucks, and while they were disciplined, being penalised only seven times, the defending champions were bettered in every department by the world number ones.
"We played too much in our own half before the break," said Galthie after France's 14-match winning streak ended.
"We should have played higher. Maybe Damian Penaud's (first-half) try made us think we would score several times by attacking from our own half."
Galthie also rued some missed chances.
"It's another reason for our defeat. Our strong moments were not converted into points, those that we missed at the end of the game," he explained.
"We were in the contest until the 71st minute and if we had scored in our moments of domination it would have been different," added Galthie, who admitted that the best team had won in Dublin.
Galthie also did not dwell on a possible TMO error after James Lowe's try was awarded although some video footage showed the Irish winger's left foot had probably touched the grass outside the touch line before he grounded the ball.
"It is what it is, let's be fair," he said.
France are third before they next host Scotland, who like Ireland have won their first two games against England and Wales.
They have two weeks to recover, which will be much needed, especially for Antoine Dupont.
"He needs some care, he was exhausted. He got a knock on his stomach and needs to recuperate," said Galthie.
However, Les Bleus were not too worried.
"We don't like this feeling but it does not shake the confidence we've built over the past two years," said flyhalf Romain Ntamack after a high-octane match.
"They could have played like this for two days," he added with a smile.
"There is no regret, we gave everything."