After two solid performances in the preseason, the Saints first-team defense was a no-show in Friday night’s 27-24 loss to Jacksonville at the Superdome.

QB Blaine Gabbert completed 13 of 16 passes in the first half, and the Jaguars scored two touchdowns on their three possessions against the starters. New Orleans’ first unit got gashed on the ground too, allowing 63 rushing yards in the first quarter.

Jacksonville drove 80 yards in nine plays for a touchdown on its opening series. After a three-and-out, the Jaguars moved 84 yards in 13 plays for another touchdown, converting four consecutive third downs.

The Saints missed several tackles, including one by DT Brodrick Bunkley and a couple by cornerback Patrick Robinson. They had no pass rush. This, after they held Arizona to 10 points in the Hall of Fame Game and New England to 7 points last week.

“The tackling in the first half was disappointing,” Saints interim coach Joe Vitt said. “It is something we are going to have to work extremely hard on this week.”

Morgan makes a move: After an inconsistent training camp plagued by drops, WR Joe Morgan bobbled Jacksonville’s first kickoff in the end zone and had to take a touchback. Negative tweets exploded in the next minute, but he redeemed himself with a 53-yard touchdown reception from backup QB Chase Daniel in the third quarter.

That’s the selling point for Morgan in his bid to make the roster. He's a legitimate deep threat on a team that set the NFL record for yards last year but lost big-play specialist Robert Meachem in free agency to the San Diego Chargers.

Morgan added a 10-yard catch a little later.

“I showed a little bit of bad body language after I dropped the kick,” Morgan said. “But (wide receiver) Marques Colston told me to just let it go and go out there and make the next play. That’s what I did.”

Possession receiver Andy Tanner, likely competing with Morgan for one of the final spots on the roster, left with an ankle injury in the second quarter. He could put almost no weight on the leg as he was helped off the field.

Questionable cornerbacks: Of the players New Orleans lost in free agency, CB Tracy Porter might be the toughest to replace. The Saints were grooming Patrick Robinson as a starter opposite Jabari Greer anyway, but the concern is what they will do in the nickel, the dime and for depth.

Johnny Patrick, in for the injured Greer, was not even close when tight end Colin Cloherty caught a 15-yard touchdown in front of him in the second quarter.

Gabbert had his way with most of the Saints’ cornerbacks, including rookie Corey White, Marquis Johnson and Elbert Mack. Patrick, a third-round pick last year, had six tackles as a rookie. White was a fifth-round pick this season.

Johnson, a third-year pro, had seven tackles in two injury-plagued years with Seattle after the Seahawks drafted him in the seventh round in 2010.

The most experienced guy battling for a roster spot, Elbert Mack, played four seasons with Tampa Bay and started four games.

Someone needs to play well in the final two preseason games.

Cadet excels in air: Undrafted rookie running back Travaris Cadet had his third strong outing in as many games, scoring the winning touchdown on a 24-yard reception with 1:53 left the fourth quarter.

Cadet had 62 receiving yards on 5 catches, extending his preseason total to 204 on 18 catches as he tries to beat out Chris Ivory for the fourth running back spot. Ivory rushed for a team-high 43 yards on 10 carries.

This and that: The Saints lost linebacker Chris Chamberlain to a leg injury in the first quarter. He had to be helped off the field and was carted into the locker room. Backup safety Isa Abdul-Quddus left after taking a blow to the head. … The Saints, 1-2 this preseason under Vitt, are 14-14 in preseason games since 2006, Sean Payton’s first year.

Follow Saints reporter Guerry Smith on twitter @CBSSportsNFLNO.