In this paper we prove some rigidity theorems associated to $Q$-curvature analysis on asymptotically Euclidean (AE) manifolds, which are inspired by the analysis of conservation principles within fourth order gravitational theories. A central object in this analysis is a notion of fourth order energy, previously analysed by the authors, which is subject to a positive energy theorem. We show that this energy can be more geometrically rewritten in terms of a fourth order analogue to the Ricci tensor, which we denote by $J_g$. This allows us to prove that Yamabe positive $J$-flat AE manifolds must be isometric to Euclidean space. As a by product, we prove that this $J$-tensor provides a geometric control for the optimal decay rates at infinity. This last result reinforces the analogy of $J$ as a fourth order analogue to the Ricci tensor.