"Listen, the game was out of hand and I didn't want to let some bad stuff happen," Morton said Thursday, per Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. "At that time, I don't like to say, 'No mas,' but it was time to get out of there. They kicked our butts, they kicked our butts. Sometimes that happens in the National Football League."
Cimini noted Morton "waved a white flag" and "wanted to run out the clock" with more than 11 minutes remaining, although he acknowledged starting quarterback Josh McCown was already out with a broken hand.
"I'm not going to sit there and have those guys run a bunch of (pass) routes and something bad happens, make bad decisions," Morton added. "I didn't want that to happen. I made the decision. I just wanted to run it and get out of there."
In Morton's defense, McCown's backup, Bryce Petty, had seen zero action in the first 12 games of the season and was coming into a contest where his team had already been badly outplayed. According to Cimini, the Jets ran on eight of their last 12 plays and showed no desire to put Petty in a situation where he could turn the ball over and potentially damage his confidence moving forward.
However, the Jets are going to need Petty to perform if they want any faint hope at reaching the playoffs this season.
They sit at 5-8 with three games remaining and are two games behind the Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers and one game behind the Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins in the race for the final AFC wild-card spot. They would likely have to win out and hope for plenty of help elsewhere.
That path won't be easy against the 9-4 New Orleans Saints, 7-6 Chargers and 10-3 New England Patriots, with only the L.A. game at home. If New York plays like it did against the Broncos, Morton may find himself running out the clock in more blowout losses.