Two first-half penalties from Barry Robson saw Middlesbrough boost their play-off hopes with a routine win.
The midfielder opened the scoring six minutes before the break after Peter Ramage had fouled Jeremie Aliadiere.
And he again made no mistake from 12 yards six minutes later following Kaspars Gorkss's foul on Leroy Lita.
Rangers hit the woodwork through Mikele Leigertwood and Jay Simpson, but they could not break through in what could be Mick Harford's final game in charge.
The caretaker manager has led the Londoners to six defeats in their last seven games and he looks likely to soon be replaced, with Rangers having reportedly approached the administrators of Crystal Palace this week to ask for permission to speak to Eagles boss Neil Warnock.
But it could have been a different story in this match had Simpson's 20-yard shot not struck a post on 14 minutes, while Leigertwood rattled the post for a second time with 12 minutes remaining from Ramage's cross.
In between, though, Robson bagged his crucial brace in an otherwise lacklustre affair, with Middlesbrough comfortable in defence for the most part.
And victory leaves Gordon Strachan's men within two points off of sixth spot, with QPR nervously looking over their shoulder three points away from the drop zone.
Middlesbrough manager Gordon Strachan: "Until the penalties it was a nothing game. I was happy with the points and I was happy with the attitude but it wasn't a great game.
"We worked hard but the game was a bit frantic at times. Maybe some of them tried to work too hard. They were enthusiastic, maybe too enthusiastic but that is not a bad problem to have.
"The penalties turned the game though. There was no question over them and even their people admitted that. And I thought maybe we could have had one before that too for an incredible handball that somehow wasn't spotted.
"But I think we worked hard and deserved that result. We have worked hard over the past few games and maybe not got what we deserved."
QPR interim boss Mick Harford:
"We should have had a penalty before Boro go theirs when Lee Cook was brought down and we had chances after that too.
"I can't argue with the penalties Boro got. I didn't see the first but the second was pretty blatant and quite stupid really. He's just pulled him back.
"It is things like that that are costing us, silly goals. We started well and dominated possession for long spells, especially in the second half but I think we needed to get a goal back early on after the interval.
"I can't fault the work-rate or commitment of the players throughout and we did well for most of the game but I am sick of saying it, we have given away silly goals. We are looking over our shoulder at relegation."
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