Then - boom! - Murrayfield happened.
Only time will tell if Jones will be able to find the ideal combination in terms of selections and combinations in midfield and the backline to withstand the Irish attack. England were handed not one, but two opportunities to get that much-needed try in the final seconds of the game thanks to Lionel Beauxis' inexplicable failed clearance.
"But we want to chuck the ball about among ourselves and have fun". "We're working hard to change that habit. Any team that is developing, as we are, gets through these tough periods when the game does not love you", England coach Eddie Jones said.
France travel to Wales for the final round.
In both games, Chris Robshaw was England's openside flanker and he's not a natural there, preferring instead to play on the blindside.
England winger Jonny May crossed for a consolation try after a lovely lay-off by Daly, Farrell converting, in a glimpse of what England had gone into the game needing to produce over the full 80 minutes.
In Paris, the English were turned over 11 times, a contributing factor to their massive penalty count of 16.
Cian Healy will train fully this week, despite suffering a shoulder injury during the weekend's Six Nations title winning game against Scotland.
"It is worldwide rugby and we know it is a step up from Premiership", said Danny Care, the England scrum-half. "We'll have to look at how we can be more clinical".
And therein lies the rub.
The game at the Stade de France was 9-9 at half-time as penalties from Owen Farrell (2) and Elliot Daly were cancelled out by Machenaud. But is the domestic league on the wrong track? Nevertheless, he has seen enough of the New Zealand native to know that he demands the very best from each player he selects. We are not adapting to the referees' interpretation at the ruck as we should. It is a position they have not reached since 2011. Billy Vunipola, Ben Youngs, Ellis Genge and others will make a difference when they return.
Jones is unlikely to relent, though.
"Their composure when they exit, not rushing to exit but doing it on their own terms". Just ask George Ford.
"We've got our problems that we've got to sort out at global level". Most global teams have one huge centre or wing.
England were thrown a lifeline with six minutes remaining after a superb break from Ben Te'o.
"With every team, you never play the ideal game", he explained.