Sunderland grabbed a deserved win at Loftus Road thanks to an impressive first-half display.
The visitors began brightly and Grant Leadbitter and Stephen Elliot missed good chances before Daryl Murphy headed home the opener from close range.
Kevin Gallen headed narrowly wide for QPR but Leadbitter made it 2-0 in first-half injury time when he rounded keeper Simon Royce and slotted in.
Substitute Ray Jones blasted QPR back into the game but Sunderland held on.
QPR boss John Gregory declined to speak to the media because he was suffering from a headache
Sunderland boss Roy Keane:
"That was a long second-half. We played extremely well and should have killed the game off.
"You keep missing chances and you start to think it's going to be one of those nights. So we got away with it a bit.
"The players did well and they are giving it everything but we need one or two more bodies."
QPR: Royce, Mancienne, Rehman, Stewart, Bignot, Ward, Rowlands, Smith, Cook (Ray Jones 46), Gallen, Blackstock (Furlong 82).
Subs Not Used: Cole, Bailey, Nygaard.
Booked: Ray Jones.
Goals: Ray Jones 73.
Sunderland: Ward, Nosworthy, Caldwell, Varga, Collins, Miller (Connolly 57), Kavanagh, Leadbitter (Whitehead 63), Wallace, Stephen Elliott, Murphy.
Subs Not Used: Fulop, Hysen, Robbie Elliott.
Goals: Murphy 17, Leadbitter 45.
Ref: U Rennie (S Yorkshire).