When Josh McCown left Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos late in the third quarter, New York Jets offensive coordinator John Morton knew it was time to accept defeat.
The Jets were trailing 20-0 at that point in what was eventually a 23-0 loss to the Broncos.
"Listen, the game was out of hand and I didn't want to let some bad stuff happen," Morton told reporters on Thursday.
"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.
"I'm not going to sit there and have those guys run a bunch of [pass] routes and something bad happens, make bad decisions. I didn't want that to happen. I made the decision. I just wanted to run it and get out of there."
Bryce Petty relieved McCown, who is out for the remainder of the season with a broken left hand.
Petty completed just two of his nine pass attempts for 14 yards as the Jets primarily ran the ball to expire the clock.
"We were behind, we didn't have a chance," Morton said. "I mean, they're just dropping back in coverage and we're just going to be throwing and forcing balls. I didn't want that. I didn't think that was fair. Call it whatever you want, I just thought that was the right decision."
Despite Morton's conservative play calling, he said it was not for a lack of faith in Petty, in whom he has the "utmost confidence".
The Jets (5-8) played one of their worst games of the season while fighting for their nearly dead playoff lives. A loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday will officially eliminate the Jets from postseason contention. Despite the blowout loss in Denver, Jets coach Todd Bowles, whose job is also in jeopardy, said he liked his team's energy last Sunday.
"I thought we had more energy this game than we had all year," he said.
"Coming out in pregame and everything else, as far as up for the game. We just didn't play well."