There’s been a lot of talk and a lot of stories written this year about the new Tom Brady.

He’s a different quarterback, throwing deeper and stretching the defense out like never before.

Maybe that’s true. He’s taking a lot of deep shots because he does have serious speed on the outside with Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan (when healthy) and Phillip Dorsett.

With one game remaining in the regular season, the New England Patriots have completed 57 passes of 20 or more yards – five more than they completed in all of 2016, one more than in 2015, 19 more than in 2014, 12 more than 2013, eight more than 2012 … you get the picture.

Cooks, in particular, has been amazing, with 10 catches of at least 30 yards, three of them over 50.

But how Brady is otherwise distributing the ball this year is another story.

Going into Sunday’s game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium, only 44 percent of Brady’s NFL-leading 367 completions have gone to his wide receivers – the lowest percentage for Brady in the past decade.

Certainly injuries have been a factor. Lead receiver Julian Edelman has missed the entire season with a knee injury. Hogan has missed six games with various injuries. Second-year pro Malcolm Mitchell, who provided a huge boost in his rookie year with his outside speed, was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury before the season and just returned to practice last week.

But even without them, New England has morphed into the NFL’s most diverse offense. The Patriots lead the NFL in total offense (398.5 yards per game) and passing offense (282.3), and are third in scoring (28.8 points per game).

How? By diversifying the passing game.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski leads the Patriots with 69 catches for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns. He’s followed by Cooks (60 catches, 1,003 yards, six touchdowns) and wide receiver Danny Amendola (57 catches, 616 yards, two touchdowns), who has come as close as anyone to replacing Edelman.

And while Hogan has caught 34 passes for 439 yards and five touchdowns, Brady relies on running backs to fill out his stat sheet.

James White, Rex Burkhead, Dion Lewis, James Develin and Mike Gillislee have combined for 119 receptions, led by White’s 56. That’s 32 percent of Brady’s completions. Gronkowski accounts for another 19 percent.

It’s Brady’s ability to find open receivers across the field that makes the Patriots so dangerous.

When you look at the 57 pass plays of 20 or more yards, 28 of them (49 percent) fall into the 20-to-29-yard range, a range that Brady has perfected over the years – in 2015, for example, 32 of the 56 passes over 20 yards fell into that category. Twenty-six of those completions this year (46 percent) are to running backs or a tight end. Gronkowski alone has 17 – one more than Cooks.

The Patriots thrive on mismatches. Brady will get the offense to the line, survey the defense – often sending a receiver in motion to see if a defender follows him, signaling man-to-man or zone defense – determine which Patriots player has the best matchup, then throw to him.

It’s what Brady and the Patriots have always done. Just think back to the 2015 Super Bowl against Seattle. In a tie game late in the second quarter, the Patriots split Gronkowski wide right. Standing in front of him is a linebacker, an obvious man-to-man situation and mismatch. Seconds later Gronkowski is catching a 22-yard touchdown pass.

In the past, with few exceptions, Brady has relied more heavily on his wide receivers. In that magical 2007 undefeated regular season, he completed 72 percent of his 398 passes to a wide receiving corps that included Wes Welker (112), Randy Moss (98), Donte Stallworth (46) and Jabar Gaffney (36). They had 57 plays of 20 or more yards that year.

In 2009 it was 69 percent, with Welker and Moss combining for 206 receptions and a young Edelman 37. In 2013, 64 percent of the 380 completions went to wide receivers, with Edelman leading the way with 105. That may have been the height of the dink-and-dunk offense that Brady is known for, with only 47 pass plays of over 20 yards.

Then you have 2011, the year the Patriots advanced to the Super Bowl but lost to the New York Giants, 21-17. That year Brady completed only 49 percent of his passes to his wide receivers. Welker caught 122 and Deion Branch 51. But there was a huge dropoff after that. Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez combined to catch 169 passes that year, or 42 percent.

One other thing that stands out about 2011 – 65 pass plays of 20 or more yards. The Patriots’ running game was ranked 20th that year and Brady threw for a franchise-record 5,235 yards. He went deep a lot.

This year New England’s running game is a little better (ranked 13th) and the Patriots are going deep again – and no one has figured out how to stop them yet.

Let’s see how far it takes them.