The Cherries eventually lost 2-0 at Stamford Bridge after second-half goals from Pedro and Eden Hazard.
"I thought we did well for long periods of the game.", Howe said. "Chelsea are a different team this season and have a totally different way of playing to last season.
"They are going to be a very difficult team to play against. We nullified their threats for the majority of the game and tried to make it difficult for the individual talents to hurt us.
"Until the first goal, the game was in the balance. We had the best chances and they were two key moments. We didn't take them and, ultimately, paid the price for that.
"We knew we were going to have limited opportunities to score and knew we would play on the counter-attack at times."