No amount of world records or consecutive wins could have prepared England for this visceral Irish onslaught as raw emotion ruined the visitors' Grand Slam party in Dublin for the third time since the turn of the century.
Ireland conjured a stunning blast of form to prevail 13-9, ending England's record 18-match run just as they had downed the All Blacks on the same mark in Chicago in November.
Sometimes tribalism trumps all else - but that is a lesson Ireland had already dished out to England in Dublin in 2001, and again in 2011.
So for the second time in the last seven seasons, England were forced to receive the Six Nations trophy in a wholly hollow medal ceremony after blowing another Grand Slam bid on Irish soil.
Three times in little more than a generation, England have pitched camp in Dublin, only to see their tents ransacked by the rampant home hordes. Ireland survived on pure ferocity and tight-game torment - and the shell-shocked English simply offered no answer.
No wonder Eddie Jones lambasted England's lack of leaders ahead of this Six Nations tournament: none of his senior men stood up under these sternest of pressures.
England's folding will worry head coach Jones, and a second-straight Six Nations crown, already wrapped up at a canter against Scotland last week, will provide scant solace.
Andy Farrell could retire from coaching right now and be feted in Ireland forever more. Ireland's defence specialist whipped up his men to produce a fulsome rearguard effort, that simply denied England any tangible try-scoring chances.
That's one-nil to dad in the Andy versus Owen Farrell stakes. Ireland had even entered the game in disarray, flummoxed from their callow 22-9 loss in Wales and desperate for a redemptive result.
Joe Schmidt's men summoned a showing of pure tenacity, somehow managing to avoid being defeated by all three home nations rivals in the same championship.
Had they lost to England, that would have been their fate for the first time since 1998. How the hosts revelled in ruining yet another set of English ambitions, and how too they sighed relief, to hold onto fourth place in the world rankings and boost their pool draw for World Cup 2019.
England's taskmaster boss Jones has continually insisted his side are nowhere yet near being considered the world's best Test team. On a miserable, forgettable Dublin day for the travelling English, Jones' received some wholly unwanted vindication for those claims.