Get used to this, Denver. It’s by design.

If the last two Broncos victories stressed you out, you’re in for a long season. That Carolina win was great, but it was an iced kicker away from being a loss. On the scoreboard, a win over the Colts looked great, but the age old adage certainly applies: That one was much closer than the score indicated.

The history books will show that the 2015 Broncos were the Super Bowl champs, but recent memory reveals that their season could just as easily be defined as the most intense, 20-week drama that Denver has ever seen. Sure, all told, the Broncos stood on top, but from start to finish, nothing was guaranteed and absolutely nothing came easy.

“Easy” was the 1998 Broncos, also a Super Bowl champ. Whenever they played, it was practically a forgone conclusion that they’d win. Heck, it took until Week 15 on the schedule for them to lose (thanks, Tito Paul!).

Here’s what I remember most about the 2015 Broncos season: No one was ever happy.

Oh sure, all one million of you who stood and basked in the Colorado sunlight during the victory parade, probably won’t remember it that way, but it’s true. Every game – outside of the win over Green Bay (a team that later revealed itself as pretty darn mediocre) – was followed by a week’s worth of griping.

Peyton Manning looks old. Brock Osweiler is okay, but he can’t win it all. (Brock lost to the Raiders?) Demaryius Thomas can’t catch. Aqib Talib is an idiot. Von Miller disappears, especially on the road (‘tis true, even the Super Bowl MVP had four games in which he was sack-less and tackle-less: @ Detroit, @ Cleveland, @ Indianapolis and @ Pittsburgh). Gary Kubiak is crazy (admit it, depending on which quarterback’s side you were on, you said it at least once).

Gripe. Gripe Gripe.

What was fun about that? In 1998 it was, “By how many?” In 2015 it was, “How ugly was it?”

Maybe that’s why winning it all last season was such a joy. The journey was a painful one. Ol’ Bob Frost would have approved because Kubiak and Co. unquestionably took the road less traveled (and it made all the difference).

Even at 2-0, this road looks pretty darn familiar. This team looks familiar. The defense is excellent. The offense – no matter who is playing quarterback – is like watching paint dry. Kubiak, once again, will rely on game management and playing the odds.

Funny thing is, and statistically speaking, the Broncos are off to a better off start than they were a year ago. As Denver Post beat writer Nicki Jhabvala astutely pointed out yesterday, offensively, the Broncos, thus far are improved in points scored, net pass yards, net rush yards and offensive touchdowns. They do have more turnovers (four compared to two).

Defensively, they’ve allowed about 100 more yards, but they’ve also sacked the quarterback once more and hit him three more times.

We can learn from statistics, but sometimes they don’t tell the story. As my father used to tell me, “stats are for losers.” Besides, we’re just two games into the season.

Are the Broncos on a beeline to another Super Bowl? Absolutely not. But I’d pose this question: If you step outside of our Broncos bubble for just one second, can you tell me who is?

Remember how the Chiefs and/or Raiders were supposed to rise up and overtake Denver in the AFC West? You still buying that?

What about the Patriots? The Steelers? Yes, they both look solid at the moment, especially without Tom Brady and Le’Veon Bell, but it’s a long way to January. Truth be told, we probably thought both of those teams as “better than the Broncos” for most of 2015. Denver got thumped in Pittsburgh and skated by Bill Belichick’s Bunch on a snowy November night at Mile High. Deep down, nobody in these parts liked the thought of traveling to either place in the playoffs. It took a series of minor miracles – beating Cincy in OT, Manning Magic in Week 17, and some help from the Jets and Dolphins who handed the Pats their third and fourth losses in Weeks 16 and 17 – to earn home field in the playoffs, but that’s what happened.

Hey, this thing isn’t meant for the faint of heart. It sure feels like we’re stepping onto the very same roller coaster.

The defending champs are sitting pretty at 2-0, yet all is not right with the world. You know what? In Denver, it never is.

These Broncos are those Broncos, so strap in and get ready for a bumpy ride.