Bradley Handwerger / Sports Reporter

METAIRIE, La. Receiver Robert Meachem didn't want to make excuses for Friday night's offensive woes when the starters went three-and-out three straight times.

But for the Saints' most veteran unit, one that has been one of the best in NFL for nearly half a decade, the weight of trying to score at the top of every game builds and builds and builds.

'We look at it, we put too much pressure on ourselves,' Meachem said. '... That was the first game against somebody else. You just want to score so bad and I think we overdid it.'

The offense gained 288 yards against San Francisco.

But the first-team offense gained only 17 yards. Pierre Thomas ran three times for eight yards, Mark Ingram had a carry for two yards and Darren Sproles rushed one time for one yard.

Quarterback Drew Brees was 1 of 4 for 6 yards, connecting only with receiver Lance Moore.

Following Friday night's game, Brees called the performance disappointing, reiterating Meachem's stance that the first-team offense expects more from themselves.

Two days later, coach Sean Payton said that the offense carries expectations that mirror the quarterback's.

'I think, more than anything, from Drew's experience and what he expects is for us to function and for us to contend to score either a field goal or a touchdown every drive,' Payton said. 'That is one of his great strengths.'

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