In typical Johnson manner even in this crushing defeat the former Leicester Tigers second-row gave a masterclass in fronting up.
There were no swipes at the Red Roses' off-the-field antics, barring an acceptance that Mike Tindall's behaviour may have cost him his World Cup quarter-final jersey, no moans about his coaching support and an unequivocal defence of the much-maligned RFU.
Instead there was this forty-minute theme with the World Cup quarter-final first-half mess that was England's display against France.
Despite the French entering the match as a nation in crisis they led 16-0 at the break - a deficit, despite second-half tries from Ben Foden and Mark Cueto, which proved insurmountable.
Johnson himself admitted that had the half-time lead been reduced that the result could have been different.
And in a forty-minute departure in which the World Cup-winning lock did a great job of hiding his true motivations for taking his leave, the disappointment of that French game lingered.
"There are some bits I'm comfortable with, some bits I'm not," said Johnson. "The job is all-consuming, all-encompassing. I don't know what would have happened if we'd beaten France. You can only make a decision where you are at the time."
While the conjecture over his real reasons for stepping down will no doubt run and run Johnson's defence of his Test record in 2011 and his talk of 'unfinished business' hint at a man not entirely comfortable with the situation.
"It feels like there's a bit of unfinished business there," added Johnson - who reminded people on several occasions of his team's record of winning ten games from 13 in 2011 which included a first RBS 6 Nations title in eight years.
"It's been my call and I understand that if I hadn't made it, then somebody might have made it for me. I couldn't argue with that.
"I don't regret taking the job at all. You get the opportunity and you either take it or you don't. There will be part of me that regrets leaving it in these circumstances, because there's a bit of a feeling of unfinished business and you'd like to put right some of the things that need to be put right."
While Johnson declined to admit as such his departure will forever be inextricably linked to England's off-field shame in New Zealand. A combination of Tindall's late-night revelry, Chris Ashton and James Haskell's lewd remarks to a chambermaid and Manu Tuilagi's off-ferry excursion will be deemed to show a boss lacking control.
Add that to the laboured effort on the field and all roads justifying Johnson's exit appear to lead to the Land of the Long White Cloud.
However Johnson suggested otherwise, insisting the decision was anything but a snap reaction.
"Even before the World Cup you have thoughts about where you are and what you want to do after it," he said. "It's not a kneejerk reaction. It's a considered and thoughtful decision that I've come to."
That may be, but you can't help wondering what a difference forty minutes makes.