Against the run of play Scotland led 6-0 at the half-time interval but Wesley Fofana and Maxime Medard scored second-half tries as France won their first match of the Championship 23-16.
For Johnson's side there have been plenty of signs for encouragement, both in defeat to les Bleus and England, as well as in impressive victories over Italy and Ireland.
But the Australian, who remains unsure as to whether he will stay in the position full-time, believes it has been a case of two steps forward and one step back.
"We defended really well - I thought we were great in our resolve. But we let ourselves down in other areas," said Johnson.
"However, I asked the guys at the start of the tournament not to send me out to defend the indefensible. But that never happened. They never put me in that position.
"From a progress point of view, I look at some things and say, 'Gee that is fantastic' and then the next day I am disappointed.
"We let ourselves down in some of our kick-return stuff. We dropped a lot of balls and put ourselves under pressure.
"So there has been progress but like all things, it doesn't improve as quick as you'd like.
"But we have got to get rid of this tag that near enough is good enough. We've got to take our opportunities to put teams to bed."