Charlie Austin scored his eighth goal of the season as QPR beat fellow strugglers Burnley 2-0 and climbed out of the bottom three for the first time since September.
Austin's close-range finish looked to have a sealed a valuable three points after Leroy Fer had earlier opened the scoring but the striker gave Burnley hope when he was shown a second yellow card with 15 minutes to play.
Burnley squandered a handful of excellent chances in the second half but Sean Dyche's side lacked cutting edge in the final third and are now just two points off the bottom of the table.
Much of the build-up to the clash centred around the team's in-form strikers Austin and Danny Ings, who scored 41 goals between them in the Championship last season.
While Ings missed a handful of half-decent opportunities, it was Austin's contribution that proved decisive alongside the equally threatening Fer.
Burnley created the first clear-cut chance in the 11th minute when Rob Green fumbled Dean Marney's cross but the Rangers keeper scrambled to his feet just in time to block Scott Arfield's follow-up.
Both sides were struggling to establish any rhythm but Burnley's George Boyd injected some quality into the contest just before the half-hour, unleashing a bending long-range effort which Green did brilliantly to tip onto the post.
Sparked into life, QPR almost took the lead at the other end when the lively Eduardo Vargas nipped past Ben Mee in the penalty area but his shot towards the far corner was cleared off the line by Michael Keane.
Austin had endured a quiet first half but, six minutes after the break, the in-form striker provided the decisive pass for Fer to break the deadlock.
Bobby Zamora played in the former Burnley man, who cut the ball back and despite the brave attempts of Mee to block the finish, Fer bundled the ball home for his second goal in three games.
Burnley almost levelled soon after when Boyd's driven cross looked destined to find Ings at the far post but the slightest of touches from Richard Dunne saw the ball flash past the striker.
Dunne was again to the rescue moments later when his sliding tackle denied Ings a shot from close range but the Burnley forward should have done better a minute later when he nodded Marney's cross wide at the far post.
The visitors continued to pile on the pressure as Boyd blazed over from inside the area but Rangers survived and in the 75th minute made their opponents pay by doubling their advantage.
Vargas played a neat one-two with Mauricio Isla to reach the touchline before squaring the ball back to Austin, who slotted home for his sixth goal in seven games.
The goal-scoring hero swiftly turned to villain two minutes later, however, as Austin was adjudged to have elbowed Keane when the pair rose for a header and the QPR striker was shown a second yellow card.
Buoyed by the one-man advantage, Burnley pressed forward looking for a lifeline but it was the hosts who could have added a third had Tom Heaton not blocked Suk-Young Yun's close-range effort late on.
Rangers played out the dying minutes with ease, sealing their third win in four home matches and jumping out of the relegation zone ahead of a crucial Christmas period.