Conceding two goals inside the first 45 minutes meant North End had it all to do in the second stanza, and Boyle felt the first half showing was nowhere near the standards the club has set so far this season.
"The first half we didn't really get going and we weren't really at it," admitted Boyle post match to PNEPlayerHD.
"We came back into it second half but it probably wasn't enough.
"Since I've been here, that type of performance hasn't happened. It's hard to put your finger on what it was but sometimes you just have to disect that and it was unfortunate - We rallied second half and created a few chances."
"At this level, you don't really get away with giving many chances away at this level; they were decent on the counter attack today and they punished us."
Although the second half was much improved, with a Tommy Spurr goal mid-way through the second half giving North End a platform to build on, it wasn't enough with James Maddison delivering the sucker punch in injury time to give Norwich a 3-1 victory and inflict North End's first league defeat at Deepdale in 2017.
He continued: "At half-time, we got a bit of a rollicking and rightly so but we came out and we were a lot better and we were full value to win the half.
"To try and get a point out of the game, we had to throw caution to the wind and unfortunately we got a sucker punch on the break.
"We don't want this season to peter out, we want to finish higher than last season and we'll have to ensure next Monday that we're ready to go."
An injury to Tom Clarke on Friday gave Andy Boyle a starting berth this afternoon, and the Irishman did a more than creditable job slotting in at centre half.
North End suffered another defensive injury blow this afternoon with Greg Cunningham limping off early on in the game, and early indications suggest he will join Clarke on the treatment table for the remainder of the season.
On both Clarke and Cunningham, Boyle added: "Those two lads have been brilliant and have been two of our best players this season, they're also great to have around the dressing room so it's a big blow for everyone, but they're two big characters and I'm sure they'll bounce back better than ever.
"I'm pleased to be back in, it's not ideal to concede three goals and we've conceded a few goals recently so we need to put that right on the training field."
For more reaction from Boyle, as well as the thoughts from an angry Simon Grayson after the game, head to PNEPlayerHD here now.