Harsh reality is crashing through Leicester's dream world at the moment, with Vardy and Mahrez a shadow of their former selves.
Leicester City captain Wes Morgan has told ESPN that the Premier League champions are struggling this term because opposition teams are better equipped to deal with the twin threat of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez.
The forward duo combined to score 48 times in the top flight last season as The Foxes raced to the title, 10 points clear of second placed Arsenal, but they have failed to replicate their matchwinning influence this time around.
Mahrez has been dropped by manager Claudio Ranieri on occasions, unthinkable after his exploits last season, while Vardy has now gone 15 games without a goal in all competitions.
Many of the former Fleetwood Town striker’s 24 league strikes last season came after racing in behind highly-positioned defences, but opposition sides have forced one of the greatest counter-attacking sides in the Premier League era to be deal with possession this season, instead of sitting back and hitting opponents on the break.
And Morgan accepts that Leicester have struggled to deal with the added focus that has been placed on them by rival teams.
"[Vardy and Mahrez] were our key dangermen," Morgan told ESPN. "Perhaps other teams are looking at 'how can we keep them quiet, because if we can we've got a good chance of getting a result against Leicester.'
I think obviously those players haven't found it as easy as they have last season, and it could be they've found extra focus on them this season."
Before Saturday’s draw with Middlesbrough, secured thanks to a late Islam Slimani penalty, Ranieri lamented the lack of freedom afforded to Mahrez by top flight defences this season.
"When Mahrez gets the ball, there are minimum two players close to him," he said before the weekend. "If he keeps possession, arrives a third,” the Italian said in quotes reported by ESPN.
Therefore, Leicester must find a new winning formula, and fast, before the PFA Player of the Year and the Golden Boot runner-up are written off as ‘one season wonders’.