Preston North End were relegated from the Championship after losing 1-0 to Cardiff on Monday, while QPR are yet to be officially promoted.
Peter Whittingham scored the winner for visitors Cardiff just five minutes into the match at Deepdale.
With Phil Brown’s team unable to muster a response, they are consigned to life in League One next season.
QPR are yet to secure automatic promotion after a late equaliser from David Amoo helped Hull City to a 1-1 draw at Loftus Road. Wayne Routledge opened the scoring for QPR in the ninth minute.
With two rounds remaining, the league leaders remain favourites to capture the title and secure automatic promotion, but they must wait to celebrate after Norwich snatched a last-gasp 3-2 win at home to Derby County.
Simeon Jackson was the hero for the hosts at Carrow Road, netting a hat-trick, including a 96th-minute winner, after Derby had twice fought back to 2-2.
The win means Norwich stay second, five points behind QPR and one point ahead of third-placed Cardiff.
Nottingham Forest retain sixth place and the final playoff berth with a 3-2 win away to Bristol City.
Luke Chambers scored the winner for Forest on 71 minutes after City came back from 2-0 down to level.
Billy Davies’ team are two points clear of seventh-placed Millwall, who beat Scunthorpe 2-1 away from home.
Burnley are level on points with Millwall, but slipped to eighth after they could only draw 1-1 at home to Portsmouth.
Leeds United’s playoff hopes suffered another blow with a 1-0 defeat away to Crystal Palace.
Leeds are now down to ninth, three points off sixth place.
At the opposite end of the table, Scunthorpe are yet to be relegated, but their defeat against Millwall leaves them six points off safety.
And, with a goal difference vastly inferior to the teams above them, they will need a miracle in the final two matches to escape relegation.
Sheffield United won an unlikely 3-2 victory away to promotion-chasing Reading to climb to 22nd, but they too are six points from safety and highly unlikely to stay up.
The defeat sees Reading slip to fifth, with Swansea City replacing them in fourth following a 4-1 win over Ipswich Town.
In other matches, Doncaster Rovers drew 2-2 at Barnsley, Leicester beat Watford 4-2 at home and Coventry went down 2-1 at Middlesbrough.
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