Nigel Pearson is back in familiar territory after Bristol suffered their second defeat in as many matches and are now just six points off the drop. The gap could be reduced to three if Reading wins their game in hand against bottom-ranked Derby County on Monday.
Bristol's defeat to QPR meant that the club had just one win in their last five games.
Red card and last-minute goal
A win for Bristol in this fixture would have leapfrogged them to 14th in the table, ahead of Luton Town. Interestingly, the Robins got off to a fantastic start when a firing shot from Alex Scott deflected off QPR defender Rob Dickie to give the hosts an early lead.
Despite being in control for almost the entirety of the first half, Bristol lost focus in the dying minutes when Cameron Pring brought down Luke Amos and Charlie Austin equalled the score from the penalty spot.
Things only got worse for the home team as Andy King was sent off for a clear foul ten minutes into the second half. Pearson's men did well to hold on with ten men and it seemed for all their money that the fixture would end in a stalemate.
However, Rangers found the winner as late as the 93rd minute of the game when Yoann Barbet headed in a bullet strike from a corner to deprive the home team of a draw.
Defense a cause of concern for Bristol
Nigel Pearson's men have conceded thirty-seven goals already this season, the second-worst - after Cardiff City - in the division.
Former Chelsea player Tomas Kalas has had an indifferent season so far at the back. His centre-back partnership with Zak Vyner has been a major cause of concern, with Bristol conceding nearly half their goals from set-pieces this season.
The holding midfield duo of Matty James and Andy King have shown indispline which has translated into defensive lapses. The late-goal conceded against QPR is a case in point.
What is next
Bristol will have an interesting list of fixtures in January. They will play high-flying Fulham twice early on, with in the FA Cup followed by a visit to Craven Cottage. Things get trickier as fellow Cardiff and Preston arrive next.
Despite a relatively easy schedule compared to other clubs surrounding them, Bristol need to make improvements at the back to stay clear of any relegation hiccups.