In a scheduling nadir, the NFL's powers that be have timetabled a game for this weekend's Wembley showpiece which pits two of the poorer teams in the league against one another. Both the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Minnesota Vikings stand at a stinking 0-for-3 this term, despite having some decent talent on their respective rosters. It's the Underachievement Bowl.
Indeed, both sides' fates are effectively embodied by the offensive leaders, two Goliaths of the game whose current form is closer to David-sized proportions. For the Steelers, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been the heartbeat of his team ever since he took the reins in Pittsburgh. While Adrian Peterson has been setting hearts racing from the first time took the ball in the Minnesota backfield.
However, after three humbling defeats to start the campaign, both teams need to rely on their break-the-glass solutions if they are to douse the fires of emergency. So which player will step up for this, the seventh regular-season match to be staged in London Town?
In Peterson, the Vikings have long recognised the messiah in their midst - and they aren't afraid to call on him. In a season where the Vikes have worked the scoreboard for 81 points, Peterson has accounted for 28 himself. It's really just a question of how they'd like to get the ball to the 2012's Most Valuable Player.
This over-reliance, of course, also comes with a distinct whiff of predictability which rival teams can tackle. Indeed, by his own lofty standards, Peterson has only rushed for 281 yards so far. For a man who lit of the league last year with 2,097 yards - the second highest in the game's annals - he's stagnating if not stalling. However, as the man himself is the first to point out, Peterson began with similarly solid figures last year before cutting loose to record-breaking highs.
Those numbers arrived on his return from debilitating, two-tear ACL surgery. It was an injury which had led many to question the great running back's future in the league. He might come back one day, but he would remain well below his best. Wrong on both counts, as it turned out.
Peterson has a work ethic and quiet dignity which belies his star status. He runs through tacklers as opposed to avoiding them. And continues to play through the pain of a persistent ankle injury. Even Achilles couldn't match that.
However, for all their problems, Pittsburgh are possessed of a solid Steel Curtain. It eventually got the measure of Chicago's Matt Forte last week - albeit in defeat - and faces another RB with similar attritional style in Peterson. The "home" side's defensive problems instead reside in their porous secondary, so Minny's Christian Ponder may have more joy trying to hook up with Peterson through the air.
Air miles, however, have always come easily to Ponder's opposite number, Roethlisberger. Big Ben is a future Hall of Famer, in spite of his indiscretions off the field and a face that would launch a thousand fists.
While "likeable' is unlikely to be the first adjective you ascribe, Pittsburgh fans will readily counter: what's not to like about his record on the pitch? Two Super Bowl rings, fourth in all-time win-rate (71%), charting inside the Top Ten in NFL Passer Rating and 11th in the key category of Completion Percentage... it's not too shabby.
Shabbier, though, have been his performances over the past couple of seasons. Roethlisberger had been absorbing the hits for years, spinning and spiralling outside the pocket in his own unique brand of backyard football. It's worked a treat, of course, but the sacks are now catching up with this lion-hearted playmaker and he finally succumbed to rib and shoulder injuries.
Surgeries have been successful, though, and the chance to rest his ailing bones should have given Big Ben a few more years before the clock inevitably strikes midnight and his fantasy feats fade.
Turnovers, both from Roethlisberger's throwing arm and his offensive corps, have been killing the Steelers this season (19 in total). Minnesota's defense have also forced 10 turnovers themselves already. So Peterson may get more time on the field to showcase his dazzling array of skills than many might expect.
But at the end of the day, Roethlisberger is an exceptional individual in an outfit which has collectively underperformed. Peterson is the original one-man band - a Roy of the Rovers talent with cartoon teammates. Pittsburgh have also welcomed back some key players from the sidelines in recent weeks too (Heath Miller and Le'Veon Bell now up to gameday speed).
So those crazy schedulers may have lit the blue touch-paper on these two titans of the turf. Whether either or both ignite, however, will be down to the combined effort of their support acts. In the NFL, the main component of superstardom is still the rest of the team.