1997 Ford Ranger Help

I have a 1997 Ford Ranger XLT 4.0 L engine. I donít know a thing about cars so I am hoping someone can help. My truck began sputtering and it sounds like a lawnmower. It is fine when I am maintaining a
constant speed but whenever it give it gas it gets louder and sputters sometimes causing my truck to jump. I plan on replacing the fuel filter today to see if there is any improvement. If not, what could be the problem?
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