Broncos go from joke to contender in 2 years

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -- Two years ago, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen sent out a letter to season ticket holders. "You deserve more from this franchise," he wrote.

Then, he went out and fixed it -- first by hiring John Elway, who remembered how things worked when the Broncos were one of the NFL's premier organizations, then by bringing on John Fox as coach and, eventually, Peyton Manning to play quarterback.

On Monday, the day after the Broncos closed out a 13-3 regular season and wrapped up the top seed in the AFC, the team distributed a different kind of memo, a five-page list titled "Denver Broncos 2012 Regular-Season Superlatives" -- a fitting symbol for a franchise that has transformed itself from a joke to a Super Bowl favorite in the span of two years.